Lines of communication between the Phillies and the agent for Cole Hamels are open and the negotiations are reaching a critical stage, Jim Salisbury at CSNPhilly.com reports. Hamels, a free agent after the 2012 season, is expected to become a trade chip if the Phillies don’t sign him long-term.
Not much has changed since Spring Training, Salisbury reports. The Phillies appear to be comfortable paying Hamels close to $24MM per season (the same range as Cliff Lee), but the sides haven’t agreed on the length of the potential extension. Initially the Phillies wanted to complete a four-year deal, but it’s likely the team is now willing to offer more years. However, John Boggs, the agent for Hamels, could target a six or seven-year contract.