Phillies legend Kyle Kendrick’s negotiations had taken up a wayward chunk of the offseason thus far, but Ruben Amaro and his front office goon squad were kind enough to maintain the team spot starter/long reliever/profanity-receiver/whipping boy, ending our prolonged misery through these hostile winter months.
Amidst the crushing disappointment of the Phillies’ season ending, the offseason was impregnated by the relentless in-breeding of questions. Will the Phillies finally lock Kyle Kendrick down? For how long? How many billions of dollars should we give him? Why is he so great? And so forth.
Now, with the least horrifying Phillies pitcher signed for the next 365 days in exchange for $3.585 million of our dollars, the Phillies can stretch and yawn and then maybe pick up the phone and call Cole Hamels if they feel like it and there’s nothing good on TV.
Well, apparently it wasn’t a particularly fervent episode of Judge Joe Brown this morning, because the Phillies inked their #3 starter/ace/pretty boy to a titanic one-year, $15 million contract that breaks no records and affects no other pitchers’ deals.
I know what you’re thinking. ”$15 million?! That’s barely enough to fill my money pit!” Well, it seems to be widely accepted that this deal is merely a precursor to the monster one the Phillies know Hamels deserves, and the slightly more monstrous one Cole himself will say he deserves. The two sides reportedly did not exchange numbers at all, meaning this temporary thing may be more akin to a gentleman’s agreement and a promise for further exploration of a deal when time allows. Meanwhile, we the fans just want him to stay on the team, and will probably forgive any number as long as it keeps the three ace things intact.
For now, though, these 15 million dollars are dollars that will stave off the vicious arbitration process, which are trying to avoid by coming to deals with Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez as well. Arbitration, of course, is the process through which a deal must be made by a certain time with Major League Baseball players, or the earth opens into a fiery crevasse and they are swallowed up, never to be seen again. Which is why avoiding arbitration is such a priority this time of year.
So, look forward to Spring Training, when the Phillies plan on thickening the warm Clearwater air with their Cole Hamels flirtations. Until then, just be glad he’s not in a lava pit.