It seems like only yesterday Cole Hamels was publicly expressing his dissatisfaction at having his contract renewed for $500,000. On Monday, the 27-year-old lefty chuckled ruefully at his youthful outspokeness, then did everything in his power to avoid creating a headline.
In a press conference designed to address his thoughts on heading into his final year before free agency, Hamels left the impression that he wants to re-sign with the Phillies, a sentiment the club has echoed.
As for the type of contract such a union will require?
"All I have to worry about and just go out and play," Hamels said.
That was a common theme thorughout the half-hour-long press conference. Hamels said he expects agent John Boggs and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to commence long-term contract negotiations in the near future. But he also said those negotiations did not begin prior to his signing a one-year, $15 million deal that avoided arbitration.
"We didn't even really discuss one," Hamels said. "We were just focused on getting through the arbitration process and discussing the one year deal and I think that's just kind of what I and the Phillies were focused on. We were just really happy we were able to get that done and not have to go through the strenuous case process."
Is it important that he land one soon?
"I understand in baseball, it's a difficult process," Hamels said. "Most of the time I just go out and I just need to play. I really just turn my focus on trying to go and do the day in and day out activities and not really focus on the contract talks because if you are able to go out there and play, things will get done. That's why I have an agent. I don't see too many players who know how to be a player and an agent at the same time."
Hamels said he does not plan on setting any deadlines.
"It's just one of those things where I have confidence in my agent and I know the Phillies are always going out there and trying to get things done," he said. "I just leave that matter to them. If something gets done, you guys will definitely know about it.
"Ever since I was drafted I was very fortunate to be drafted to an organization that has been trying to win and obviously has won. Every year we seem to get some top players. It just kind of shows you the direction the team wants to go. I'm just very fortunate to be a part of it. I think that's kind of something where I don't know any better. I live in Philadelphia, I've been here 10 years now, so that's something that's been nice. It's a great organization to play for and I'd love to be a part of that. We didn't even really discuss one. We were just focused on getting through the arbitration process and discussing the one year deal and I think that's just kind of what I and the Phillies were focused on. We were just really happy we were able to get that done and not have to go through the strenuous case process."
Hamels has fully recovered from two offseason surgeries, one of which repaired a sports hernia, the other of which removed a tic-tac sized bone chip from his pitching elbow. Both injuries left him in discomfort throughout the season, but Hamels threw off a mound yesterday and said he is as close to 100 percent as he would ever be at this point in time.