The richest contract ever signed by a Major League pitcher is seven years, $161 million, awarded to C.C. Sabathia by the Yankees in December '08. If the latest report from Howard Eskin is true, Cole Hamels could be aiming to surpass those figures.
Never mind the money, which we already expect will climb north of $20 million annually. Seven years! The longest the Phillies have gone with any pitcher during the Pat Gillick/Ruben Amaro era is five years to Cliff Lee.
That might be a stumbling block.
And the money! With player salaries constantly on the rise, a future 29-year-old Hamels figures to command record-breaking numbers, especially should this season continue on its current course. Cole is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 2012, and seems to get better with every year.
With all of this in mind, I still prefer Hamels in red pinstripes next season. Besides the fact that he is elite, we're talking about a homegrown talent, the Most Valuable Player on the only world championship team from Philadelphia in nearly 30 years. Obviously emotions have no place in business, but cutting this guy loose could be bad for baseball and for business.
Yes, the Phillies have been burned by lengthy contracts, none more prevalent for the moment than Ryan Howard's five-year extension at $125 million. When it comes to the truly great players though, sometimes you just have to take a leap.
Does Hamels belong in that company? Whether the Phillies think so or not, somebody will be paying Cole a king's ransom.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.