The season is underway and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link) is back with Full Count..
- Cole Hamels didn't set an Opening Day deadline in his contract talks, but if the Phillies want to hammer out a deal mid-season they'll have to make him a bold and aggressive offer. Otherwise, the pitcher likely wouldn't listen midseason. Matt Cain's new deal is the baseline for Hamels and unless they'll venture into Cliff Lee territory (five-years, $120MM), they probably shouldn't bother restarting the talks.
- The Cain deal also puts the Brewers in a tough spot with Zack Greinke. Cain has been much more consistent than Greinke in the last five years but he's seen a bit of a drop over the last two seasons. The Brewers might want to wait to see more before offering $100MM+ plus, though his second-half last season was a sign of great things to come.
- For the Giants, the Cain signing is a buffer against potentially losing Tim Lincecum. Lincecum could cost the Giants upwards of $25MM a year, but Rosenthal says to keep two factors in mind. First, the contracts of Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito will be off the books by the time Lincecum's next deal begins. Secondly, the club's annual debt payments on AT&T Park – roughly $20MM a year – end after the 2017 season.
- The Rangers have discussed four- and five- year deals with Ian Kinsler but aren't eager to give him free agent money when he's under control for two more years. The danger for Texas is that the Yankees could potentially sign Robinson Cano to a monster deal, effectively raising Kinsler's price. Both players are eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.