He's made three All-Star teams and won the World Series MVP, but there's a lot that Cole Hamels hasn't done and must do in order to live up to his contract.
He'll be one of possibly 13 players to make the Phillies' 25-man roster next season at 30 years old or older.
The Phillies' best homegrown starter since Robin Roberts, Hamels has put up impressive numbers in basically every category but wins in eight big-league seasons, compiling a 99-74 record, 3.38 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 1.141 WHIP. Perhaps just as important, he's made at least 31 starts six straight seasons.
But for all his accolades, Hamels has finished in the top five in Cy Young voting just once (5th, 2011) and has been the Phillies' best pitcher in only one season (2012) since winning the World Series in 2008.
And Philadelphia's richest athlete ever still has at least five (possibly six) years and $112.5 million (possibly $136.5 million) remaining on his deal. How will it play out? History indicates it's a tossup.
Of the six most lucrative pitching contracts given to left-handers in baseball history, two have worked out and three have been disasters, while Hamels' is still to be determined.
The six largest:
1. CC Sabathia, 2009, $161 million
2. Cole Hamels, 2013, $144 million
3. Johan Santana, 2008, $137.5 million
4. Barry Zito, 2007, $126 million
5. Mike Hampton, 2001, $121 million
6. Cliff Lee, 2011, $120 million
Sabathia and Lee's deals have both paid off thus far for their respective clubs. Sabathia has earned three All-Star appearances and three top-four Cy Young finishes in five seasons since signing, while posting a 3.52 ERA and 1.214 WHIP. Lee has made two All-Star teams and twice finished in the top six for Cy Young in three years while recording a 2.80 ERA and 1.049 WHIP.
But on the other side are three ugly outcomes. Hampton's, perhaps the ugliest, yielded a 4.81 ERA and just four seasons of more than 13 games started for the Rockies and Braves in eight years (and just two in Colorado). Zito, whose contract finally expired after the Giants bought him out this offseason, posted a 63-80 record and 4.62 ERA in seven seasons.
Injuries plagued Santana, who started off with a 40-25 record and 2.85 ERA in his first three seasons with the Mets. But from 2011-13, he pitched in only 21 games (all in 2012), and New York bought him out this offseason.
Overall, the six pitchers have produced no Cy Young wins and just seven All-Star appearances in 30 seasons at an average annual contract value of $20.8 million. At age 30 or later, they've made five All-Star teams in 23 years.