The Philadelphia Phillies are negotiating "like heck" on a contract extension with pitcher Cole Hamels just more than two weeks before the MLB trade deadline. But they have reached a "sticking point" in the negotiations, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury reported Saturday.
The "sticking point" comes with the length of the contract. The Phillies are prepared to give Cliff Lee-type money to Hamels — in the $24 million per season range — but they are only offering a four-year contract. Hamels reportedly is requesting as many as seven years on the deal.
Salisbury reported that if the Phillies cannot work out a deal with Hamels, who is a free agent at season's end, they could look to trade him before the July 31 trade deadline. Salisbury pegs the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers as two possible landing spots for Hamels.
The Phillies are expected to become sellers at the trade deadline, but they appear committed to keeping the 28-year-old Hamels around for the long haul. Hamels has been a rare bright spot in a dismal season for the Phillies. He's 10-4 with a 3.20 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 118 innings pitched.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro told Salisbury that the organization remained committed to keeping Hamels in a Phillies uniform.
“A lot of it is a decision that’s up to Cole," Amaro said. "He’s the one that has to sign the contract. People think it’s just a one-sided deal. Everyone has to come to an agreement. That’s why it’s called an agreement. It’s not just the Phillies. We have to work together.”