Let's see, $700 million a year split among 30 teams comes to $23.3 million, which is close what Hamels' annual salary will average out to.
Yes, the Phillies will have only about $12 million from ESPN in 2013 to kick to Hamels, but they make it up on the back end, because Hamels' deal runs only to 2018 - with options and/or buyouts for 2019.
No doubt, the Phillies, who are in this business of sports to make money, might have a less simplistic take on this, but, to me, it's a wash in the revenue-vs.-expenses comparison.
The kicker is that MLB also has national contracts with Fox and WTBS, meaning it's only a part of MLB's national deal.
Since it's not my money, it doesn't matter to me what balancing the Phillies' budget looks like.
But if you're looking for a reason why the Phillies will not blow up their current roster and start a rebuilding project from ground zero, look at the television money trail.
Not that management would patently acknowledge it, but it no longer makes financial sense for the Phillies to go back to the penny-pinching days of the late 1990s, when management claimed to be a small-market franchise.
When Citizens Bank Park opened, the Phillies began to consistently extend their payroll to the point at which it is now one of the highest in baseball.
But five straight National League East titles, two NL pennants, the second World Series Championship in franchise history and, most important, hundreds of sellouts at Citizens Bank Park reinforced the notion that you have to spend money to make money.
The Phillies paid to put out an exciting product that fans wanted to see, and the revenue river flooded.
But the big deluge of money for the Phillies is sitting just on the horizon.
The trend has been established. The big money for Major League Baseball teams is in the fees paid for local broadcast rights.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have long funded their empires on the back of local broadcast revenues that dwarfed other those of teams.
But now everyone is getting in on the act. The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers have become consistent World Series contenders based on money gained from new local broadcast fees. People shook their heads when the Los Angeles Dodgers took $260 million in contracts from the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. But in addition to new ownership, the Dodgers reportedly are working on a new local television deal worth around $4 billion.
The San Diego Padres, who are the 26th-largest market in MLB, reportedly are in negotiations for a long-term local network deal that could exceed $1 billion.
This brings us back to the Phillies, whose local broadcast deal with Comcast SportsNet expires after the 2015 season.
Besides the incredible attendance figures, the Phillies have seen their broadcast ratings rise each year for nearly a decade.
Compare the loyalty of the Phillies' fan base with that of the Dodgers, Rangers or Angels. Right now, the only ones comparable are the Yankees, Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
If the Dodgers get about $4 billion, how much will Comcast fork over to keep the rights to a guaranteed ratings winner such as the Phillies?
That's a lot of leverage for a network to take into an advertising sales meeting.
The Phillies know how valuable a commodity they are.
Bidding on their local broadcast rights will be like making a max bet when you know ahead of time the jackpot is about to hit.
Pay more now to reap guaranteed huge rewards later.
The Phillies also know that the only thing that could mess up this looming windfall would be for them to start fielding a lousy product that turns off fans.
The Phillies must treat this disappointing season as a hiccup. They have to trust that the core players will bounce back and then they must bring in legitimate free agents who can step in and effectively fill voids.
The Phillies can't afford to enter a 5-year rebuilding process now that could turn away fans used to the 5-year trend of championship-caliber baseball.
They have too much at stake not to spend the kind of money necessary to maintain a winning product.
Contact John Smallwood at email@example.com.
For recent columns, to to www.philly.com/JohnSmallwood.