It seems the Phillies are at a crossroads with Cole Hamels… and we're working on bad puns this slow Monday
This past weekend, Phillies president David Montgomery made it clear that money is not an issue in offering Cole Hamels a more lucrative deal. With spring training at our fingertips, more than a few sports enthusiasts have expressed urgency in keeping the southpaw in red pinstripes for more than one season, even though the risk is minimized with a shorter contract and a wait-and-see approach.
Still, it is difficult to overlook the intangibles when considering the worth of our homegrown All-Star (and former WS MVP). With youth and a relatively clean bill of health on his side, signing Cole long-term is a low-risk proposition, whatever the cost may be. While he does have moments of getting rattled, he's become seemingly much more resilient and mature. Cole's community involvement also gives every indication that he's invested in our city and its people. (Then, there's the whole pretty wife equals high self-confidence thing.)
Admittedly, I've had commitment-phobia in regard to lengthy player contracts, and still have a level of dread when hearing the suggested "five or six years" that is being thrown around, but there is something to be said for being able to perform more effectively knowing there's security with your team. And what if we were employing the stat-nerd – dare I say SABR - method in analyzing Cole's performance and value beyond the intangible generalities we just discussed? With a career 3.39 ERA, 1,091 strikeouts in 1,161 career Major League innings, a 1.14 WHIP, and a better than 3-to-1 K-to-BB ratio, this seems like a no-brainer. Not to mention, he gets on base…
Not to overstate the obvious, but even with Hamels signing a one-year deal this winter, his contract situation will be an ongoing discussion this season, so we might as well get it out in the open. Make it happen, Rube.
Pitchers and catchers are just six days away.