The Phillies have a pitching staff full of aces. Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers of this era, Cliff Lee has turned into a stud in the past 5 years and is a top pitcher in the league. Cole Hamels was the city's hero in 2008 when he led the team to it's first championship since 1980, and Vance Worley is coming into his own as a solid starting pitcher who was not just a fluke last year.
Cole Hamels definitely has the most buzz going around. He and the Phillies avoided arbitration last season by signing a hold-over 1 year deal. When that contract was signed, people hoped and assumed it would mean that soon, Hamels would sign a mega contract, keeping him in Philly for the foreseeable future.
Roy Halladay makes 20 million dollars a year, Cliff Lee makes 21.5 million dollars a year. Given Cole Hamels age and career of winning, it would not be surprising to see a team offer Hamels 24 million dollars a year. As of right now, the Phillies are the only team that can make him a deal, but by waiting to offer one, his value is only going up, not in the Phillies favor.
Cole Hamels is the present and the future of this team, much more so than Halladay or Lee or even Utley, Howard and Pence. He is a pitcher that can lead a team. The city has been fortunate enough to see Cole transform from a blue-chip prospect, a kid, into a man. And it would downright dumb for the Phillies to let him walk.
Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to realize that the time is now to sign Hamels, or another team will gladly fork over money to him. Hamels needs to stay.