Some of the words used in Jayson Stark's latest article about the Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels: "Intensify," "picked up the pace," "major push," "priority." Words not used: "hot," "heavy," "the fulcrum of the Phillies' existence." But they were implied.
The Phillies have a lot of money tied up in the long term to win in the short term, and apparently they've come to the conclusion that a short term without Cole Hamels isn't something worth considering.
"They want to sign him, and that's their priority," said an official of one club that spoke with the Phillies' brass this week. "They're really not even entertaining (trade) offers at this point."
The previous sticking point with the Phillies to this point has been more about the length of the contract rather than the annual amount, but following the five-year extension to Matt Cain (which started after the 2012 season), the Phillies realized they weren't going to get anything close to the four-year extension they offered him in the offseason.