Next Round of Drinks is on Cole
Our dear friend, frequent commenter, and #1 Jose Bautista fan Raul commented the other day:
“Cole Hamels will get an insane contract this winter. He probably wants 150 million. And that team will regret it.”
Man, was Raul way off, or what? Cole Hamels got an insane contract this summer. And he only got 144 million…with an option that could make it 160 million.
This contract makes Cole Hamels the second-most highly paid pitcher in baseball history, behind only Carsten Charles Sabathia.
There are a grand total of eight pitchers who have signed 100 million dollar deals:
Of those pitchers, it’s clearly too early to tell on Hamels or Cain whether the contracts will be worth it.
Cliff Lee is in the second year of a 5-year deal. After a fairly dominant 2011, he’s been rather average in 2012, though not nearly bad enough to merit a 1-6 record.
Kevin Brown earned his money in the first two years of the deal, posting a 154 ERA+ and 1.030 WHIP in 482.1 innings as a Dodger. He made just 29 starts over the next two years before putting together a terrific age-38 season and getting shipped off to the Yankees to suck in his last two seasons. So, 3 great years, 4 bad, injury-marred ones…but that’s what you get when you sign a 34 year old man to a 7-year deal.
Johan Santana definitely earned his money in his first year with New York, leading the league in both innings pitched and ERA. He pitched well when healthy over the next couple seasons, but was limited to 25 and 29 starts before missing the entirety of the 2011 season. This season, he tossed the first ever Mets no-hitter, and has pitched poorly ever since, with batters hitting .305/.363/.575 against him.
Mike Hampton was a disaster in Colorado, plain and simple. Like former Astros teammate Darryl Kile before him, Hampton couldn’t adjust to the thin air and was traded to Atlanta after just two seasons, with the Rockies absorbing the brunt of the deal. The only good thing about Hampton’s time in Colorado was winning back-to-back silver sluggers, amassing an .881 OPS and 10 home runs in 152 PA’s.
Barry Zito was a disaster waiting to happen. He won the Cy Young in 2002 with good numbers, but in the last 3 years before signing his deal with the Giants, Zito had posted a 4.05 ERA, 1.330 WHIP, and 1.80 K/BB. Not horrendous numbers, but Brian Sabean should’ve known better than to pay him like a #1, when he was really more like a number 3. This deal has been colossally bad for the Giants, but until recently, they were paying Matt Cain peanuts (and they’re still paying Madison Bumgarner next to nothing) so it evens out.
CC Sabathia has earned his money for the Yankees, at least so far – especially when you consider that 20+ million a year doesn’t mean as much to the Yankees. But, for the sake of reference, the Yankees are paying him roughly Matt Cain’s contract after this season (5 years, 99 million dollars), which will run through his age-35 season. So, we’ll see. Since becoming a Yankee, Sabathia ranks 3rd in the league in IP, 5th in strikeouts, 7th in ERA+ and 2nd in wins.
Of these gentlemen, who will Hamels most resemble?
I like that he’s young (cross off Brown, Lee) and has pinpoint control (cross off Zito). He’s been hittable at times in his career, but actually placed second in the National League in hits/9 last season. He’s well on his way to another 200 inning, sub 3.30 ERA season, which would be his fourth in the last five seasons. He’s probably closest to Cain, and the two will begin their 100 million dollar adventures together next season.
So, my questions to the Dugout Central Community:
Having basically nailed his first prediction, will Raul be right about his second? Will the Phillies regret this deal?
And: Who will be better over the next 5-6 seasons, Cain or Hamels?