And on the third day, Cole Hamels broke the silence.
The Phillies’ third ace, just in case you haven’t heard, signed a one-year, $15 million deal last month to avoid arbitration. However, Hamels is set to hit the free agent market after the 2012 season, unless a long-term contract is agreed upon.
On Monday, Hamels didn’t seem too worried about the ongoing negotiations. He’s focused on playing baseball and getting back to the World Series.
“I think I’ve really turned my focus on going in the day in and day-out activities and not really focus on the contract talks,” Hamels told reporters. “Because if you’re able to go out there and play, things will get done. I know that’s why I have an agent.”
There had been a report floating around that Hamels wanted a deal done before Opening Day. Not true, according to the pitcher.
“No, I don’t have any deadline,” he said. “I think the only deadline that is set is by major league baseball with five days after the World Series.”
The Phillies have done a great job of re-signing their core players, the guys they drafted and groomed. (See: Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins). That is another reason Hamels is putting his faith in the organization and letting the process play out.
“Ever since I’ve been here they’ve been able to do a really good job of keeping the guys that they draft, especially the guys that they like,” Hamels said. “I just hope I’m one of those guys that they like.”