Hamels, Phillies Agree on Three-Year Deal

The Phillies knocked one big arbitration case off their schedule when Cole Hamels agreed to a three-year, $20.5 million deal with the club. The deal buys out three arbitration years, but doesn't buy out any free agency.

The Phillies and Cole Hamels have had some rough times in the past when the Phillies unceremoniously renewed his contract for $500-thousand last season, not giving Hamels the raise that he felt he deserved. While Hamels had some tough words at that time, the two sides were able to hammer out a three-year, $20.5 million deal to avoid Hamels first arbitration case.

Hamels will still be eligible for arbitration following the final year of the deal and free agency after the 2012 season.

The deal calls for Hamels to receive $4.35 million in 2009, $6.65 million in 2010 and $9.5 million in the final year of the deal. He will also receive an additional $500-thousand in the season following any year that he wins the Cy Young Award or $250-thousand if he finishes second or third in the balloting.

Hamels went 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 2008 and followed that up by winning four of five starts in the post-season, cementing MVP honors for both the NLCS and the World Series. In three seasons, Hamels is 38-23 with a 3.43 ERA.

The Phillies also avoided arbitration with Greg Dobbs by agreeing to a two-year, $2.5 million deal with the super-sub. Dobbs filled in at third base last season and was the club's leading pinch-hitter.

Six Phillies, including Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, are still eligible for arbitration.

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