Phillies give Hamels six years, $144 million
The deal, which is the second-largest ever signed by a pitcher (behind the seven-year, $161 million deal the Yankees gave CC Sabathia in December 2008), also contains a club vesting option for 2019 and a limited no-trade provision.
"It was long and laborious," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in announcing the deal. “We finally got to the finish line. (Six years) is unprecedented for the Phillies, but we did it with the right person."
Hamels, who is 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA this season, was set to become a free agent this winter, and many teams – reportedly including the Yankees – were monitoring his availability ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
In the end, Philadelphia won the sweepstakes, keeping Hamels with the team that drafted him a decade ago.
“I wanted to give the Phillies every opportunity," Hamels said. "It's very hard to leave a place that you've had so many great memories. I understand that free agency is great … But this is the place that I call home and want to call home for a really long time. I grew up watching Tony Gwynn play and he made San Diego his home for his entire career. That's ultimately what I want to make here in Philadelphia."
Hamels’ deal, which carries an average annual value of $24 million, means that the Phillies could potentially have $155 million committed to 11 players in 2013, but team president David Montgomery hinted that even though the Phillies have never exceeded the luxury tax threshold, the possibility of doing so for the first time next season wasn’t a factor in the negotiations.
"The reality is this is a commodity we know very well,” Montgomery said. “We may very well need to do that (exceed the tax threshold) to do the right things on the field.”
"We felt like it was the right thing to do under the circumstance with his performance, his age, his importance with our club," Amaro added. "Our goal is to continue to be a championship-caliber team, for now and the future. As I've said before, I think we have a much better chance with Cole as a major part of our rotation than without him."
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