Cole Hamels reached a deal Tuesday on a one-year $15 million deal to avoid arbitration in his final year before free agency.
That in itself is a big deal as the two sides could have negotiated for a long-term deal rather than let him hit the free agent market next winter. But it’s a bigger deal when Hamel’s agent says this:
“We thought about just going for it, and filing for a number [of about $17 million],” said John Boggs, Hamels agent told Bob Nightengale of the USA Today, “but we thought this was fair. Our sights are now set on free agency. At some point, we’ll talk to the Phillies about that.”
From what it sounds like, the Yankees will get an opportunity to bid on Hamels next offseason if they wish to. How badly they want him probably depends on the continued development of the newly aquired Michael Pineda as well as minor leaguers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
Hamels will probably fetch a ton on the open market. He is about the same age as CC Sabathia when he hit the open market so a seven-year $161 million deal isn’t out of the question.
If you doubt me, consider that they are both lefty and Hamels has already won a World Series (he was the MVP) and has a better ERA, K/9, BB/9 and ERA+ than Sabathia through the same point in his career. If Pineda regresses or some of the polish wears off on Banuelos or Betances, than the Yankees will be motivated to bid on Hamels.