By Bill Carey
July 25, 2012

Cole Hamels has agreed to a six-year, $144 million contract with the Phillies. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels has agreed to a six-year, $144 million contract to stay with the team that drafted him, according to multiple reports. The deal is expected to be officially announced Wednesday.

Hamels' contract is the second-richest given to a starting pitcher, trailing just C.C. Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal.

USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reports that the Phillies will now have $89 million committed to just four players in 2013: Hamels, fellow starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and first baseman Ryan Howard.

The Phillies were rumored to be considering a trade involving Hamels before next week's trade deadline. The team had contended the past few seasons but now sits 14 games out of first in the NL East.

The realization that its window may have closed made some believe the team should opt to let Hamels leave and rebuild -- or at least reconfigure -- its roster. Ultimately, the team decided to stretch itself financially and secure the 28-year-old for the long term.

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