Not the biggest news in the world, what with the Olympics coming up and all, but Phillies SP Cole Hamels just signed a six-year, $144 million extension to stay in Philly for the next…..well, theoretically six years.
Big League Stew does a good job breaking down the value of that contract relative to other pitchers with similar deals, and their honest approach to the article should be commended. But I’d like to make my own comparison: Cole Hamels is currently 28 years old. When Barry Zito turned 28 and hit free agency, he got a similar deal from the Giants.
Hey guess how that turned out?
In case the links don’t work or you’re really lazy, some quick hits:
Zito: 222 starts, 102 wins (.618 win percentage)
Hamels: 199 starts, 85 wins (.594 win percentage)
Zito, Post-Extention: 140 starts, 43 wins (.413 win percentage)
Zito: 3.55 ERA
Hamels: 3.38 ERA
Zito, Post-Extension: 4.55 ERA
Zito: 125 ERA+
Hamels: 125 ERA+
Zito, Post-Extension: 92 ERA+
Zito: 1.250 WHIP
Hamels: 1.139 WHIP
Zito, Post-Extension: 1.407 WHIP
Zito: LHP, 6’2”, 205 lb.
Hamels: LHP, 6’3”, 200 lb.
Zito, Post-Extension: 6’0”, 201 lb. (I made him smaller for metaphorical effect)
This is meant to be fairly lighthearted in tone – I’m not predicting Hamels will fall off as hard as Barry Zito did – I just want to point out that the same stats that people used to compare Hamels to legitimate stud pitchers (like C.C. Sabathia and Matt Cain) can just as easily prove that Philadelphia’s front office is FUCKING CRAZY SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You’re going to give the second-most lucrative pitching deal of all time to Cole Hamels? Hamels now makes more than his teammate Roy Halladay, a proven staff ace with a career ERA+ of 136.
I guess the real point here is this: Hey, baseball people! Pay me one percent of Cole Hamels’ new salary and I’ll keep you from perpetually embarrassing yourselves.