Don't read too much into reports that Cole Hamels has not accepted the Phillies' latest contract offer. The two sides are actively involved in negotiations on a six-year contract that could trump the $137.5 million that Johan Santana landed from the Mets prior to the 2008 season.
It is too early to say that the negotiations are entering the home stretch: Sources with knowledge of the talks said that there are still several issues that need to be worked out before a deal is consummated. But the hope, according to one source with knowledge of Hamels thinking, is that the end result will be a contract that keeps Hamels in Philadelphia well beyond the 2012 season.
Hamels next scheduled start is Friday. It is unclear if the Phillies need some sort of resolution by then.