This morning, we awoke to the fantastic news that Cole Hamels and the Phils had inked a deal to keep the ace playing his home games in Citizens Bank Park through the 2018 season. The cost? Only $144 million. The pricey deal means that the Phils will likely look to unload some obligations this year, so that they don’t have to pay the luxury tax this year and a higher rate next year. ESPN’s Jayson Stark suggests that that means shopping Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton.
So that means they’re still likely to shop Victorino, who has about $3.5 million in salary coming for this year, and Joe Blanton, who has slightly over $3 million left and appears to have stirred a little interest with five quality starts in his last seven starts.
He also says that the asking price for Hunter Pence is likely too high for the team to find a willing suitor. The Phils are in last place and—two weeks ago—it looked like they’d be having a fire sale this week. But, they’ve won seven of their last ten games, inked Hamels to a massive deal, and hold a 5-1 lead over the Brewers (UPDATE: Womp, womp) thanks to multiple hits from Erik Kratz and Chase Utley. How quickly things change. [ESPN]