The Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels have reached an agreement to a 6-year, $144-M contract. According to Bob Nightengale, MLB writer for the USA Today, Hamels's average annual salary of $24 million is the second-highest in history for pitchers, with only C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees receiving a higher salary.
Update 7:43 AM via Bob Nightengale: Hamels's new contract contains a seventh-year vesting option, making the total package worth around $160 million.
With this new deal, the Phillies have approximately $95 million already committed to four players for 2013 - Hamels, Howard, Lee, and Halladay. There have been rumors recently that the Texas Rangers have shown interest in reacquiring Cliff Lee, so the Phillies may look to move their star lefty ace to allow themselves signing flexibility this offseason.
Regardless whether you believe the Phillies overpaid or not, it's surely nice to secure the 2008 World Series MVP through the 2012 season and into the next chapter of Phillies baseball.
A press-conference will be held later today.
Matt Rappa is a contributor for BuzzonBroad.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mattrappa.