Cole Hamels deserves to be paid like a top-flight pitcher. One way or another, he's about to be very soon.
The Philadelphia Phillies star is in negotiations to net a deal of six years, according to ESPN.com. If such a contract was worked out, it would mark the first time the team signed on for so many years with a pitcher.
The lefty has of course been the rumors of many trades recently, but according to a MLB source the Phillies would much rather lock up Hamels.
"They want to sign him, and that's their priority," said an official of one club that spoke with the Phillies' brass this week. "They're really not even entertaining (trade) offers at this point."
In order to sign Hamels and stay below the luxury tax threshold, Philadelphia might have to unload a veteran or two making significant money. Jimmy Rollins' name has surfaced along with Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco and Joe Blanton.
With the July 31 trading deadline coming quickly, the Phillies are in a time-crunch to make something happen.