Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cole Hamels - No Arbitration!

Happy news for my beloved World Champion Philadelphia Phillies: the Phillies' website announced today that pitching ace Cole Hamels has signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the club! Hamels was one of seven Phils who might possibly go to arbitration this year. Agreeing to this contract avoids arbitration in Hamel's case, and secures both a highly valuable part of the 2008 Championship Team and one of the flat-out best young starting pitchers in the Major Leagues today. Hamels performance in last year's post-season was phenomenal, and I, as a life-long Phillies fan who has seen a lot of bad pitching from this club over the years, am very glad to see this deal get done!

With the game's finest pinch hitter Greg Dobbs recently signing a two-year deal, and the addition of Raul Ibanez to the outfield, the 2009 team is starting to take shape. How the Phils will fair in '09 may rest, however, with the six remaining players eligible for arbitration: Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin and Joe Blanton. Howard, of course, is the big question-mark, but the Phils would not have been in the post-season if not for the strong contributions of the other five names on that list.

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