Aside from the Phillies tanking this year, the big story has been Cole Hamels and his impending free agent status, which will likely end with him receiving one of the biggest contracts in the off-season. Of course, that only happens if he doesn't sign an extension with the Phillies first. And if recent reports are to be believed, it is certainly heading in that direction.
It was first reported a few days ago that the Phils were willing to offer the lefty Ace a six-year deal (a first for pitcher contracts in the team's history) in excess of $130 million, and it now seems that Ruben Amaro and company are feeling pretty good about their odds of signing Hamels.
Via Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
Things have been rather quiet on the Hamels front for a couple of days and veteran Phillies watchers know that is often an indication that closed-door dealings are heating up.
Overall, there is a feeling of optimism around the Phillies camp that Hamels will eventually sign.
Contract talks are like mercury, so anything is bound to happen at this point, but if the team is optimistic, then I guess that's a good thing. It doesn't mean anything, but I guess it's better than admitting defeat.
However, if the Phillies' offer of six years at over $20MM annually is a starting point, it certainly puts them in a much better position to get a deal done before the trade deadline. Of course, this is all just conjecture, because Hamels ultimately makes the decision as to whether he signs an extension or if he tests the waters of free agency.
With just over a week until the trading deadline, it stands to reason that we'll find out Hamels' fate sooner rather than later.