Monday, March 3, 2008

Hamels Calls Contract a "Low Blow"

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A player on the Phillies, coming off a solid season, has his contract renewed for way below what he believes he deserves, and he's upset by it. Sounds like Ryan Howard's situation. It's also the situation Cole Hamels has found himself in.

The Phillies renewed Hamels' contract, paying him $500,000 for this season, and Hamels calls the move a "low blow". He also went on to say he would remember this down the road, making it pretty clear he will be leaving town as soon as he's a free agent. Before you worry about Hamels bailing soon, he can't become a free agent until 2012, so the Phillies do have time to make amends.

This situation is disturbing from both ends. First of all, while Hamels is a special pitcher, he's a little young to be whining about his contract. His salary is pretty much in line with players of his age and skill level. He has a habit of making demands and having certain expectations, like his cry for a chiropractor last year. The guy won 15 games last year, which is impressive, but not Cy Young material. Let's see him go out and win 20 games, and lower his ERA below 3.00, and then he can start making contract demands.

On the Phillies end, this is the second player who feels slighted by their contract. The Phillies are working with a budget, and they know that the only way they can afford to bring in any free agents is if they give smaller contracts to their own players with less service time. It's a trend that won't go away, and hopefully it won't hurt them in the long run, with Hamels and Howard bolting the first chance they get. The Phillies have to learn to take care of their own.

I leave you with one last note: Adam Eaton will be making over 6 million this year, 12 times more than Cole Hamels. No wonder Hamels is upset.

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