Baseball's new villain Cole Hamels is looking for a seven-year contract extension that surpasses C.C. Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees in 2008 according to Andrew Kulp The700Level.com. Apparently he'll hold the world hostage if nobody gives that kind of money to him.
Back in March, I speculated that Hamels could ask for a C.J. Wilson's type deal with the Angels (5-year $77.5 million), and that I wouldn't go beyond five-years and $95 million, but apparently Hamels and his agent think he deserves better than Sabathia, Wilson, Matt Cain (five-year, $112 million) and Cliff Lee (five-year, $120 million).
In 2012 Hamels is 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.6 HR/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 47.1 innings.
In 2011, he totaled 216 innings and walked only 44 batters for a solid 1.8 BB/9. He struck out 8.1 batters per nine innings which is good, although he lowered his mark by exactly one batter compared to 2010 (9.1 K/9). He also lowered his HR/9 from 1.1 to 0.8 in 2011. The lefty also had a 31.2 VORP, which translates to a 3.1 WARP.
Lee is 0-1 with a 2.17 ERA, 0.6 HR/9, 0.9 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 29.0 innings this season. In 2011, he walked one less batter (43) in 16.2 innings more than Hamels (232.2 innings in 2011), for a 1.6 BB/9. He reached a career high in K/9 with 9.2, and improved his HR/9 by 0.2 compared to 2010 (0.9 in 2010 and 0.7 in 2011). His VORP was 49.5 which translates to a 5.2 WARP.
This season Sabathia is 5-0 with a 3.51 ERA, 0.9 HR/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 51.1 innings. Last season he went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA, 0.6 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 in 237.1 innings. Sabathia's VORP was 39.2 and his WARP 3.9. Again, Sabathia outperformed Hamels in SO/9 and HR/9, even though Sabathia's home park is Yankee Stadium. He also pitched 21.1 innings more than Hamels.
Now, I'm not saying Ruben Amaro Jr. won't give him what he's asking for, or any other GM in free agency, but I do believe that he does not, under any circumstances deserve a contract higher than Sabathia's and Lee's contract.
Image by SD Dirk under the Creative Commons License Agreement.