Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels signed a 6-year, $144 million deal extension Wednesday, a contract which prevents the All-Star left-hander from turning into a free agent after the season.
The extension runs thru the 2018 season and has a vesting preference for 2019 along with a limited no-trade provision.
The Philadelphia Phillies have officially stated the extension and will hold a meeting with the 2008 World Series MVP at noon ET before their game against the Brewers.
It’s the biggest contract signed by a Philadelphia athlete and 2nd-highest for a pitcher behind the $161 million deal the New York Yankees gave CC Sabathia in December 2008. Hamels’ deal is also the biggest contract signed by a Philadelphia athlete.
Although he likely would have been the most attractive free-agent pitcher this coming offseason, Hamels consistently has declared that he enjoys playing in Philadelphia and would love the opportunity to match one of his boyhood heroes, Tony Gwynn, and play his whole career for one franchise.
Hamels, 28 years old, becomes the third Phillies starter making $20 million per season, joining Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
A 3-time All-Star, Hamels is 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA this season and owns a career record of 85-58 with a 3.38 ERA in 7 years in Philadelphia. The lanky lefty has never won more than 15 games in a season, and his 2.79 ERA in 2011 was the only time he was under 3.06.
Hamels reached the majors in 2006 after fighting injuries in the minors. He went 15-5 with a 3.39 Era in his first full season in 2007, building himself as the team’s ace and helping the Phillies win the 1st of 5 successive NL East titles.
Hamels was the team’s ace in 2008 when he went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 5 postseason starts. He was MVP of the NLCS against L.A and helped the Phillies beat Tampa Bay in 5 games for their 2nd World Series title in franchise history.
But Hamels struggled in 2009, going 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA that year and pitching poorly in the postseason as the Phillies tried for a repeat. Hamels was passed over for vet Pedro Martinez to start Game 2 of the World Series at hostile Yankee Stadium. Hamels then blew a 3-0 lead in a pivotal loss in Game 3, and New York took the series in 6 games. Baseball scores
Following the additions of Halladay and Lee, Hamels went from ace to No. 3 starter. He started 2011 as the No. 4 starter behind Halladay, Lee and Roy Oswalt. There’s no doubt that Hamels is the team’s best pitcher this season — and now richest, too. Halladay is 4-5 and Lee is 1-6.