Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Phillies reach deals with Hamels, Valdez

The Phillies have never been a team that cared much for arbitration hearings.

Phillies reach deals with Hamels, Valdez

Cole Hamels and the Phillies have agreed to a 1-year, $15 million contract, according to reports. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Cole Hamels and the Phillies have agreed to a 1-year, $15 million contract, according to reports. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The Phillies have never been a team that cared much for arbitration hearings.

Their actions leading into today's 1 p.m. deadline to trade numbers with their eligible players seem to support that position.

The Phillies have agreed to a 1-year, $15 million contract with Cole Hamels and also have agreed to a 1-year, $950,000 deal with infielder Wilson Valdez.

CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman was the first to report the Hamels agreement.

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According to Heyman, Hamels’ deal includes a number of incentive clauses: $100,000 grand for MVP, $250,000 for Cy Young, $100,000 for World Series MVP, $50,000 for LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger or All-Star appearance. Valdez' contract also includes award bonuses.

"I have got no indication that Cole wants to go anywhere and I think Cole knows we want to keep him," general manager Ruben Amaro said on the day the team signed Jimmy Rollins. "I think if you read the quotes I made about Jimmy, they're going to be the same.”

Hamels is definitively receptive to a long-term deal to remain with the Phillies. It is likely the two sides will talk again during spring training.

“It’s a competitive town and Cole Hamels is a real competitor,” said John Boggs, Hamels’ San Diego-based agent. “That’s what Philly is all about. They like competitors. At the end of the day, that’s the biggest attraction for him. That's why he loves it there.”

Hamels finished a 3-year, $20.5 million deal this past season in which he made $9.5 million. He went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA, the lowest of his big-league career as part of the Phillies’ vaunted pitching rotation.

His 14 wins gave him at least 10 wins in five straight seasons making him the first Phillies pitcher to do so since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton’s 13-year streak from 1972-84.

He remains scheduled to become a free agent after the 2012 season. Indications were that the sides were interested in a long-term deal, and one could still happen.

Valdez, 33, made $560,000 last season and is in his first year of being arbitration-eligible. He hit .249 -- and .330 with runners in scoring position -- in 99 games, but his versatility was a significant boost to the Phillies as they dealt with injuries to Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Valdez made 33 starts at second base, 21 at third base and 20 at shortstop.

The only other player eligible for arbitration is outfielder Hunter Pence. The sides can agree to a contract up to the start of the hearing, scheduled for the first two weeks in February. Pence filed at $11.8 million; the Phillies at $9 million. The arbitration panel must select either number.

"It's something you really don't focus on," Pence told the Daily News during his baseball camp last month in Texas. "My agents at Beverly Hills Sports Council take care of that. I trust them. I just focus on getting myself ready to play baseball."

Last winter, Pence became the first Astro since Rick Wilkins in 1996 to win an arbitration hearing. He made $6.9 million in 2011. Pence and the Astros went to a hearing last year.



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