Phillies, Cole Hamels close in on extension

Tim Brown
Yahoo! Sports

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels is nearing an agreement on a long-term contract extension with the club, according to reports Tuesday night, ending speculation the Phillies could trade him or lose the All-Star left-hander to free agency.

FOX Sports reported the contract would be worth more than $137.5 million over six years, which would make it the second-largest contract for a pitcher. Only CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million contract is higher.

In the midst of a disappointing season and carrying a $172 million payroll, the largest in franchise history, the Phillies are thought to be willing to trade many of their high-profile players, including Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. Had they not come to an agreement with Hamels, a three-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2008 NLCS and World Series, they might also have sought to trade him, or risk losing him to free agency.

An announcement of the contract extension is expected Wednesday.

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