Cole Hamels has officially signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Phillies, avoiding his first three years of arbitration.
(From the official release) Hamels, 25, went 14-10 last year with two shutouts and a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts for the Phillies during the regular season. He then went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five playoff starts, en route to being named MVP of both the National League Championship Series and the World Series. Combined, Hamels posted an 18-10 record with a 2.92 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .222 average in 262 1/3 total innings pitched.
"Cole has been an integral part of our club," said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "Based on his 2008 and postseason performance, he has established himself as a true No. 1 starter."
Among National League pitchers over the past two seasons, Hamels has the second-lowest walks per nine innings pitched (2.10), ranks fourth in strikeouts (373) and opponents' batting average (.231), fifth in ERA (3.22), sixth in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (8.17) and tied for sixth in wins (29) and innings (410.2). Hamels is 38-23 for his career with two shutouts and a 3.43 ERA in 84 starts.
“If you look at similar deals (Kazmir, Cain, and a few others), the Phils paid a bit more in 2009 in hopes that they get a little break in 2011.” – MG
“The best part of this deal is keeping a managable price for Cole the next three years. The flexibility this offers the Phillies won't be seen this year, but next (assuming Cole's success train continues.) It's the kind of deal they wish they could have gotten from Howard. The Howard arbitration loss last year was a significant problem for the Phillies. Not only it was their first every loss, but the number was far out of the range they had budgeted. Locking up Cole now... reduces the risks that arbitration now brings.” – Mike Cunningham
“Barring injury, I would expect that Hamels could have made more through arbitration. Still, I can understand why he'd take this deal. $20.5M means he's set for life even if he blows out his arm tomorrow. From the Phillies' standpoint, the best part about the deal is that it keeps their star pitcher happy, avoids the bad blood of an arbitration hearing, and affords them certainty in terms of future salary/payroll planning. It's definitely a very good deal for the Phillies, but "Deal of the Century" is rather extreme hyperbole.” – bay_area_phan