The Philadelphia Phillies are preparing a substantial offer to their soon-to-be-free-agent left-hander Cole Hamels in an attempt to determine whether they can sign him to an extension in the next two weeks.
However, the Phillies are aware that in order to retain the winningest pitcher they have developed in the past 40 years, it could require one of the largest contracts in team history.
No details of the contract offer are known at the moment, but if the Phillies want to re-sign Hamels, they will likely have to offer something in the ballpark of Matt Cain's recent five-year, $112.5 million extension. The Phillies have never guaranteed more than five years to a pitcher, and remain wary of doing so, but may have to offer a sixth year in order to retain Hamels.
Hamels has been the subject of a flurry of trade rumors in recent weeks. The 28-year-old left-hander has been tied to the Rangers, Dodgers, Tigers, Pirates and Red Sox, to name a few. If the Phillies are unable to make any headway on contract talks with their new offer, it is expected they will try to trade Hamels at the deadline.