The good news is that Cole Hamels and the Phillies avoided arbitration Tuesday, after the team inked the ace left-hander to a one-year deal worth $15 million. Hamels' salary is the highest for an arbitration-eligible pitcher before being eligible for free agency (which Hamels is after next season).
The bad news, however, is that there is still no long-term contract in place. While the two sides have had discussions, there is no indication that a deal is close.
"We're happy we've concluded the one-year portion of this," Hamels' agent, John Boggs, told ESPN.com. "And at the appropriate time, I'm sure we'll have dialogue with the Phillies and continue talking about a multiyear deal."
The 28-year-old Hamels went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA in 31 starts last season. He was selected to his second All-Star Game and finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting.
The Phillies also avoided arbitration with super-sub (and emergency pitcher) Wilson Valdez. The 33-year-old will earn $930,000 next season, a nice bump from his $560,000 salary this past season. Valdez appeared in 99 games for the Phils and batted .249 with 14 doubles and 30 RBIs.
The Phillies have one more arbitration-eligible player: Hunter Pence.
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