Avoiding arbitration, the Phillies and left-handed hurler Cole Hamels have agreed on a one-year contract worth $15 million, as reported by multiple sources on Tuesday. The deal sets a record as the highest salary paid to an arbitration-eligible pitcher prior to him reaching free agency. The previous record was the $12.4 million that the Chicago Cubs paid Carlos Zambrano in 2007.
Incentive bonuses in Hamels’ new deal include $100,000 for being named National League Most Valuable Player, $250,000 for the NL Cy Young Award, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 for each of the following- League Championship Series MVP, Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award, and an All-Star selection.
Hamels is a two-time All-Star and was named MVP of the 2008 World Series when he led the Phillies to their second ever championship.
In his career, the 28-year-old Hamels has posted a 74-54 record with a 3.39 ERA and a .237 batting average against in 181 games.
In 2011, the California native sported career bests in ERA (2.79), WHIP (0.99), batting average against (.214) and complete games (3) as he helped the Phillies lock down their fifth consecutive NL East division title.
On deck for the Phils and Hamels would be a long term contract, but fans should not expect that announcement to come soon. The one-year pact is a positive sign, however, as preliminary talks on such an agreement did not pan out when the parties involved reportedly discussed the matter last season, and an arbitration case that would have forced the two sides to do battle would surely have further worn down the relationship.
In addition to the Hamels signing, the Phillies have also come to terms with infielder Wilson Valdez on a one-year contract worth $930,000, according the MLB.com.
Hunter Pence remains as Philadelphia’s only player eligible for arbitration.
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