It's difficult to think about baseball today after a tough Eagles loss, but we move on ...
... Cole Hamels met with reporters before kickoff yesterday to discuss his three-year, $20.5 million contract extension. Good deal for both sides. Hamels gets financial security. He also keeps his final year of salary arbitration and free agency following the 2012 season. The Phillies get cost certainty the next couple off-seasons. That's big because they'll have a clearer picture of how much they can spend in the near future.
...Ryan Madson could be next. Sources indicate the Phillies and Madson continue to talk about an extension and a deal could happen soon.
... Just because the Phillies reached an agreement with Hamels doesn't mean Ryan Howard is next. Howard is looking for serious money. There was talk last year at this time that Howard was looking for A-Rod money. And I'm sure after leading the majors in home runs and RBIs in 2008 that his asking price hasn't fallen. But because Howard can't become a free agent until after 2011, the Phillies have time to make a deal. There's no rush. Something that's interesting about Howard's case is that Mark Teixeira just signed an eight-year, $180 million contract with the Yankees and Kevin Youkilis just signed a four-year, $41.125 million contract with the Red Sox. For the moment, that takes two of the highest spending teams in baseball off the market for a first baseman. Of course, that can change. And there are other teams out there who would love to have Howard's bat in the middle of their lineup.