Latest On Phillies, Cole Hamels

The Phillies know how much it will cost to lock Cole Hamels up to an extension, and the sides appear to be making progress toward a long-term deal, Jim Salisbury of reports. No deadline exists, but Opening Day looms as an unofficial turning point for the negotiations.

One person tells Salisbury that the Phillies are prepared to pay the left-hander in excess of $20MM per season on a multiyear deal. However, contract length is an issue, as the Phillies prefer a four-year agreement, while Hamels and agent John Boggs want more.

Another person said talks have been progressing and predicted the sides will reach an agreement. This means there’s still a chance the Phillies will keep Hamels off of the open market and away from potential bidders like the Dodgers and Yankees. The 28-year-old is on track to hit free agency after the 2012 season.

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