The Phillies began taking care of business yesterday, agreeing with Cole Hamels on a 3-year $20.5 million deal. Cole, who is 25 years old, will still be eligible for arbitration after the 2011 season and a free agent after 2012, but this gives him financial security and the Phillies some flexibility to lock up some other players, most notably Ryan Howard.
You may remember Hamels, soaked with champagne in the clubhouse saying he wanted to help the Phils becomes a "dynasty like the Yankees, or the Braves." He will now have at least 3 more chances to pitch them to another championship.
In an unrelated note, Scott Mathieson has agreed to pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic this March.