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Phillies Notes: Another Run, Hamels Extension, Questions of Offense

Can the Phillies make another run at the World Series? That's the question of the day -- Todd Zolecki argues they still the right pieces, while Paul Swyden of FanGraphs says the offense might hinder that effort.

In other notes, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY looks at what it will take to re-sign Cole Hamels following this season, and suggests Hamels will get a deal comparable to Johan Santana's $137 million deal with the Mets:

  • In 2012, Phillies poised to make another run at World Series title - Todd Zolecki |
    "There are plenty of explanations for why the Phils fell short of a World Series championship last season, despite boasting one of the greatest rotations in baseball history and setting a franchise record with 102 regular-season victories. Some of those explanations are more valid than others. But as the Phillies prepare to open Spring Training, they unarguably have the pieces to win their second World Series in five years."

Spring countdown: Cole Hamels and Co. begin free agent tango - Bob Nightengale | USA TODAY
The Phillies would like to sign Hamels to the same five-year, $85 million deal that Angels ace Jered Weaver received last August. Sorry, just not happening. Weaver signed a hugely discounted deal to stay home, and was more than a year away from free agency.

If you want a comparable deal, it may Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5 million contract extension in 2008 with the Mets. It's no coincidence that the top five-paid pitchers are left-handers like Hamels. CC Sabathia is the highest-paid pitcher, signing a seven-year, $161 million contract from the Yankees in 2008 that he turned into an eight-year, $191 million deal.