Cole Hamels won't be on the free-agent market after this season after all. And he won't be traded before the July 31 deadline by the disappointing Philadelphia Phillies either.
Instead, Hamels will stay put after agreeing to a six-year, $144-million contract with the Phillies that was announced by the team on Wednesday. A news conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. Pacific Time to formally announce the deal that includes a club vesting option for 2019 and a limited no-trade provision.
The contract is the largest ever for a Philadelphia athlete and the second-richest ever for a major league pitcher behind CC Sabathia's $161-milllion deal with the New York Yankees.
Hamels, who was drafted by the Phillies back in 2002, might have gotten even more money on the open market during the off-season. Instead, he joins teammates Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee as Phillies starting pitchers making more than $20 million a season.