Cole Hamels is handling the free-agent dance like a Fred Astaire in red pinstripes.

In one breath, he says he loves Philadelphia, especially the fans, and appreciates all that the Phillies have done for him. And, by all means, he'd like to play his entire career in Philly, just like one of his boyhood idols, Tony Gwynn, did in San Diego.

But make no mistake, the 28-year-old lefthander says in the next breath, "Every human being wants to know what their value is. If you get to do it, it's a pretty cool experience."