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Amaro talks about Hamels and Halladay

LOS ANGELES -- The disparity of recent contracts among baseball's most elite pitchers probably has not helped negotiations between the Phillies and John Boggs, the agent for Cole Hamels.

Amaro talks about Hamels and Halladay

"He has pitched well and we hope to be able to sign the guy," Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Cole Hamels. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
"He has pitched well and we hope to be able to sign the guy," Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Cole Hamels. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

LOS ANGELES -- The disparity of recent contracts among baseball's most elite pitchers probably has not helped negotiations between the Phillies and John Boggs, the agent for Cole Hamels.

At one end of the spectrum, you have Jared Weaver, who signed a heavily discounted five-year, $85 milliion deal to continue pitching with the Los Angeles Angels.

"I know people still talk about it and how big some people think it is," Weaver recently told USA TODAY. "But honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. It's tough for me saying the contract is a discount. Come on, it's $85 million. It's more money than I ever thought I would make in my life."

At the other end of spectrum, you have San Francisco's Matt Cain, who signed a six-year, $127.5 million deal with the Giants. He is around the same age and has similar career numbers to Hamels, so it's more than fair for Boggs to demand that kind of deal or even slightly more for his client.

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"I don't have any issues about evaluating Cole," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday. "Cole is a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. He has pitched well and we hope to be able to sign the guy. That goal has never really changed. We know what he is and we know what he brings to the table.

"Whether we can get to the finish line and keep him in our uniform, that's another thing entirely, but we know what we'd like to do. That hasn't changed. Regardless of the other things that have happened (with the team) this year, those things I don't think affect his personal situation."

Factor in that both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee took less money to pitch for the Phillies than they could have received elsewhere and that is something else that could complicate the on-going negotiations between Boggs and Amaro.

"That's why I say, 'It always takes two to tango,' " Amaro said. "It's not just the Phillies. It's the Phillies and Cole and what his goals are and his wife's goals, the agent and the family. It's kind of everybody involved that is going to take it to the level where hopefully we can get something done. It's a big decision for a lot of people."

Halladay against TBA. The Dodgers left the ballpark Monday night without naming a pitcher for Tuesday night's game against the Phillies.

The Phillies, after a 3-2 win that gave them their first three-game winning streak since May 26, left knowing that they would send Roy Halladay to the mound Tuesday for the first time since a May 27 start in St. Louis.

What the Phillies don't know for sure is how many innings they will get out of Halladay in his first start since he landed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. They also do not know how much he will resemble the guy who dominated opposing teams in his first two seasons in Philadelphia.

"The one thing I know about Roy is that regardless of how sharp he is, he's going to do everything he possibly can to get people out," Amaro said. "He's going to give you everything he's got and he's going to compete just as strong and hard as he ever has. Whatever he does, you can't fault him.

"But, yeah, I am interested in seeing how sharp he is. He's a pretty good option for us."

Given how often Halladay has picked up his teammates when they have struggled to score runs, this would be a good night for the offense to come through against an emergency starter for the Dodgers.

In order to make room for Halladay on the 25-man roster, the Phillies outrighted righthanded reliever Brian Sanches to triple-A Lehigh Valley. 



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