SAN FRANCISCO -- If Cole Hamels felt inclined, he could send Matt Cain a nice thank-you card.
Cain signed a five-year, $112.5 million contract extension with the San Francisco Giants earlier this month, which raised the value of Hamels' next deal. The Phillies and Hamels are not close to an agreement and there have been reports there have been no substantive negotiations lately, but if Cain got $112.5 million, Hamels figures to make more than that.
"He's a different guy than I am," Cain said before Monday's series opener against the Phillies at AT&T Park. "Every case is going to be different."
Cain said he was unaware his deal caused a stir in Philadelphia because of its impact on Hamels, who can become a free agent after the season. There had been some thought the Phillies might be able to retain Hamels for something closer to $100 million, but not anymore.
"History-wise, lefties have always brought more than a righty," Cain said. "It's just the nature of the game."
Entering the season, Hamels was 74-54 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games in cozy Citizens Bank Park. Cain was 67-72 with a 3.39 ERA since 2006, pitching half his games at canyon-esque AT&T Park. Hamels had more strikeouts (1,091 to 1,055), a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.74 to 2.32) and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched, 1.14 to 1.21) in that span.
Cain said his agent probably kept his eye on Hamels much like Hamels' agent kept his eye on Cain because one man's deal would impact the other.
Asked if Cain wrestled with signing or hitting the open market, where he could have made more money, he said, "When you're leading up to it, you're thinking you've got this opportunity to go to free agency. As a player that's always the big thing to do: Go to free agency and experience that. But it's not always a beautiful thing. It can be great, but in my situation, it worked out perfectly. I'm staying in San Francisco. It's going to be great. I don't know if that's going to be the same with Cole or not."
Phillies fans are wondering the same thing.