June 13, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Philadelphia Phillies have started a major push to sign left-hander Cole Hamels before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, putting talks of a potential deal that would send the 28-year-old out of Philly on hold, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN:
The Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels’ agent, John Boggs, have picked up the pace of discussions in recent days, sources said, and those intensified discussions are an indication the Phillies have started a major push to sign Hamels before the July 31 trade deadline.
Stark spoke with an official of another club who’s talked Hamels with the Phillies this week that said, "they want to sign him, and that’s their priority." The source added that Philadelphia isn’t really "even entertaining offers at this point."
Yesterday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Phillies were planning to make an initial offer to Hamels of about $130 million over six years. Stark adds that Philadelphia’s five-year, $120 million deal with left-hander Cliff Lee and the veteran’s $24 million annual salary will also factor into negotiations with Hamels.
Will the Phillies extend Hamels?