The wait is over: The Phillies have reportedly signed left handed pitcher Cole Hamels to a six year, $144 million contract extension, and will hold a press conference later today to make an official announcement.
The deal's average annual value of $24 million matches that of teammate Cliff Lee, with an added year. This makes sense; Hamels (28) is younger, Lee was better, at least at the time the deals were signed.
The new deal's total value is the second highest ever for a pitcher, trailing only CC Sabathia's 2009 contract with the New York Yankees.
As for the secondary implications, it's becoming more and more likely that Shane Victorino is gone, either by the end of this week or after the season -- this was probably going to happen anyway, of course.
To me, it also signals some trepidation about the future, particularly in regard to Roy Halladay, who is only signed through 2013 and has not looked "right" since the end of last season. Halladay comes off the books after 2013, but if he shows that he's healed and can still be effective, the Phillies probably would have an inside track to extend him at a somewhat reasonable price.
Check back here for more throughout the day...