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Is Phillies' Pitching Worth the Price?

Philadelphia Phillies contract to ace Cole Hamels puts a lot of payroll in pitchers.

To the delight of most Philadelphia Phillies fans, Cole Hamels will be wearing pinstripes for a number of years to come.

With the signing of Hamels to a six-year, $144 million deal with a vesting option for a seventh year, the Phillies are telling fans that they haven't thrown in the towel, even if this season might be lost.

Hamels' contract is the richest in team history. (Yes, it tops Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.)

But is the price for pitching worth it? 

Vote in our poll and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

With Hamels locked up, the Phillies have now invested $68 million in three starting pitchers for 2013.

That's a lot of green for Hamels, Halladay and Cliff Lee. Throw in what the team is paying closer Jonathan Papelbon and it doesn't seem like there's much room to pay for anything else.

In reality, the Phillies have the Top Three starting pitchers in baseball.

Throw in Vance Worley and the rotation is strong for next year, no matter who the No. 5 starter is. (Actually, could that be phenom Tyler Cloyd, who is pitching lights out for the Iron Pigs this year?)

But, unless Hamels keeps hitting home runs, it's hard to win games when your team isn't scoring any runs. We've found that out for the first half of this year as the Phils were barely able to put a run or two on the board.

You would also think that Hamels is now truly the ace on the staff.

Yes, Halladay has a no hitter, perfect game and Cy Young on his resume since becoming a Phil.

But Hamels does have MVP awards for a championship series and World Series.

So maybe Hamels is really our modern-day Steve Carlton. He's definitely homegrown talent and losing him to free agency could have meant a death march for the future of the franchise.

So kudos to General Manager Ruben Amaro for wrapping up Hamels right before the trading deadline. Now we'll see how the rest of the hand plays out.

Amaro has gone on the record to state that he wants the Phillies to remain competitive over the next three years.

Keeping Hamels on staff for six years might give enough time for some of the Baby Phils arms in the Minor Leagues to be ready for the Majors by that time.

This team, though, needs a stronger lineup.

It's nice to know there's a nucleus of Howard, Utley, Rollins and Carlos Ruiz.

Even with those guys, there are questions: Can Howard and Utley fully recover from injury, is Rollins past his prime, and is Chooch a one-hit wonder?

The rest of the lineup looks shaky for the next few years.

Who will be at third base next year? What about left field? Does Hunter Pence remain in right field or is he traded? Who will be the new centerfielder?

At least one issue -- a big issue -- is resolved.

Cole Hamels stays. And that should give every Philadelphia Phillies fan enough hope that the franchise will get back on track.

GJ July 30, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Just wondering -- what profession has only perfection among the highest paid?
. July 30, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I was all for resigning Hamels but not at that money. This contract basically crippled the teams chances to get better in other areas for the next couple of years. What good is starting pitching when you have no 3rd baseman, no real lead off hitter, no bullpen besides an over paid closer, a disabled 2nd baseman, and one of the weaker outfields in baseball? Oh did I mention no prospects in the minors either because they were all traded away for short term help? The Phillies have been a great team over the past 5-6 years and deserve a pass for this horrible season but if they don't make some major moves at the deadline (mainly to dump salary) and during the off season to get better and younger, I think a lot of people are going to bail on this team.
leo lowe July 30, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Didn't work. No way you can compare salaries from 20 years ago, let alone 30.
Dino Ciliberti July 30, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Oh Richard, I'm not sure of that. Let's give Amaro some credit for what he has done in past trading deadlines. He can move Pence, Victorino and Blanton and shave payroll and also maybe get younger at third and the outfield. Look for Michael Bourn or BJ Upton to patrol center next year.
. July 30, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Dino, all Amaro has done is open the check book for high priced players. ANYONE could sign Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, etc... if they had that payroll. What good GMs do is find young cheap players that can help the team for years before getting big money deals that break the bank and put you in a luxury tax situation. In fact as much as people hated Ed Wade, he was the one that found Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Hamels. Pat G. brought in bargin guys like Werth and Victorino. What players has Amaro brought in besides the no brainers who he overpaid to get? Ty Wiggington? Chad Qualls? As for your suggested free agents....Michael Bourn will be one of the most sought after OFs in free agency. It will take at least 15 million (most likely more) over 4-5 years to get him here (if he even wants to come considering we dumped him in a trade years ago). Not sure how BJ Upton (who is hitting .240 something) is an upgrade over either Pence or Victorino either. Look if Rubin manages to get rid make some solid moves to make the team better, I'm all for it but he has shown no track record of doing so without over spending which the Phillies can no longer do with so much money tied up in the three starters, the closer, and Ryan Howard. Those five guys make more than half of the entire rosters in the National League and the Phillies owners have said they do not want to pay the luxury tax.

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