Today is one of those days when I woke up from the wrong side of the bed and unfortunately Cole Hamels is going to pay for it. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Phillies are preparing a $120 million offer to Hamels, but apparently they aren't optimistic they can prevent him from becoming a free agent.
A person with Phillies ties close to Heyman believes that a Cliff Lee's type deal (five-year, $120 million) would be the logical offer, but two other sources close to Heyman think that in order to make a quick deal with Hamels they would have to offer him a Johan Santana's type deal (six-years, $137.5 million). Even some people have suggested that Hamels could get north of $150 million in free agency.
I really don't know why Hamels and his agent believes he deserves more than Lee or Santana, but let's take a look at their numbers and see if they're right. Santana signed his deal at age 28, exactly Hamels' age. During the three seasons prior to Santana's deal with the Mets he went 50-26 with a 2.99 ERA, 148 ERA+, 1.0 HR/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 9.4 SO/9 in 684.1 innings. In his past two and a half seasons, taking 2012 into account, Hamels is 37-24 with a 2.96 ERA, 133 ERA+, 1.0 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 in 550.2 innings.
We don't have to be geniuses to see that Santana outperformed Hamels in almost every single category during their past three seasons. Now somebody please tell me why does he deserves better?. In his walk year with the Twins Santana went 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.4 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 9.7 SO/9 in 219.0 innings. Hamels is projected to end the season with a 17-8 record, a 3.17 ERA, 1.0 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 in 216.0 innings. Again, tell me why does Hamels deserves a better deal than Santana?.
Now let's compare Hamels with Lee. In his three years prior to his five-year, $120 million deal with the Phillies Lee went 48-25 with a 2.98 ERA, a 142 ERA+, 0.6 HR/9, 1.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 in 667.1 innings. Really close performances, with Lee being ahead in HR/9, BB/9 and ERA+. The only advantage that Hamels has over Lee is that Lee signed his deal when he was 31 years old, and Hamels is 28.
So, Hamels isn't better than Santana when he signed his deal, and isn't better than Lee when he signed his deal. Why in the world people believes he deserves better than them?. Yeah, he'd be the best left handed pitcher in the market this winter if the Phillies can't sign him to a long-term deal, but that doesn't mean he's the best left handed in the history of the world.
I remember not too long ago Hamels saying he's old school. Well, I have an advise for you man. Why don't you sign one-year deals every year until you retire, just like the old school guys did.
Image by Keith Allison under the Creative Commons License Agreement.