Cole Hamels Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Phillies Pitcher

April 29, 2015 by Tim Daniels  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies aren't hiding their interest in trying to find a trade partner for Cole Hamels. As a result, the only question may be when he gets moved rather than if a deal will happen.

Continue for updates.


Phillies GM Discusses Situation

Wednesday, April 29

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are among the potential suitors for Hamels. General manager Ruben Amaro told the outlet he knows finding the right move might take awhile, though.

"I understand that teams go through the first month of the season trying to access what their needs are and what they have internally," Amaro said. "Some clubs will be all hellbent on contending. Other teams will be trying to decide whether they're contenders or not. We understand that takes time."

Hamels has been one of the most durable, effective starting pitchers in baseball over the past decade.

The 31-year-old left-hander owns a career 3.27 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 280 games. He's struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings pitched. And he has made at least 28 starts in eight consecutive seasons dating back to 2007.

Philadelphia is not a team built to contend in the short term. The window for its aging roster has passed, and the time to rebuild has come. If there was any doubt about going down that road, it was erased during the club's 8-13 start.

Hamels is probably the most valuable piece of the remaining core. Getting the biggest possible return for him is essential to a successful retooling process. That's why Amaro sounds willing to wait until the right package of young MLB players and future prospects comes along.

How long the process will take and whether any other trade partners will emerge is a mystery. That said, Hamels is definitely a pitcher with the ability to reshape the World Series picture if he moves.  

 

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Cole Hamels Struts His Stuff as List of Suitors Grows

April 27, 2015 by Zachary D. Rymer  
Filed under Fan News

Every start Cole Hamels makes is an audition. And with each performance, his audience appears to be growing.

If that is indeed the case, they must be liking what they're seeing.

Hamels made his fifth start of 2015 Monday night, and it was a good one. The ace left-hander led the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with seven innings of one-run ball. He did allow four walks, but he also permitted just four hits and struck out nine.

That makes it three starts out of four that Hamels has pitched at least six innings while allowing no more than one earned run. His overall ERA is 3.19, which looks an awful lot like his career 3.27 ERA. If one didn't know any better, one would say he's still one of the best pitchers in the National League.

So, that sound you're hearing is Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. rubbing his hands together with excitement. He has a pretty massive rebuilding job on his hands, and the guy who was supposed to be his best trade chip isn't letting him down.

That alone would be good enough for Hamels' trade value. But as you might have noticed, what's helping it even further is that his list of possible suitors is growing by the day.

And at the top of the list might be the team Hamels just beat.

The Cardinals confirmed Monday that staff ace Adam Wainwright has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles. He's a guy few pitchers are capable of replacing, and the club's in-house options certainly fall well short in that regard. 

Because it's still only April, the Cardinals understandably aren't rushing to make a trade. But GM John Mozeliak did tell Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he "might have to look outside" eventually, and it's a good bet Hamels will be at the top of his wish list if and when that time comes.

It was reported during the winter that the Cardinals were interested in trading for Hamels, with the idea being to add a left-handed ace to their rotation. The 31-year-old's production obviously still fits the bill, and so does his stuff. FanGraphs can vouch that Hamels' velocity is still in the low-90s, and that his trademark changeup is once again contributing to an outstanding swinging-strike rate.

There is one complication, though. The Cardinals might be able to afford to take on the bulk of Hamels' remaining contract—four years and at least $100 million—but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says they "don't quite have the pieces" to satisfy the rebuilding Phillies in trade talks.

Part of that has to do with how there are at least two other major suitors whose need for Hamels has only gotten larger.

One is the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were also connected to Hamels over the winter, and they too have an injured starter that needs replacing. The club announced Monday that veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy needs Tommy John surgery, and is done for the year.

Because the Dodgers are even shorter on in-house options than the Cardinals, what Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register says here makes perfect sense:

The Dodgers are indeed a legit threat to land Hamels. This is yet another championship-or-bust season for them, and they have more than enough money to afford him. According to Baseball America, they also have the No. 3 farm system in the league to entice the Phillies with.

But the Boston Red Sox might be able to beat the Dodgers to the punch if they deem their need for Hamels strong enough. And the way things are going, it's trending in that direction.

The Red Sox don't have any major injury problems in their starting rotation. Their problem is more that the rotation itself is a problem, as the 5.84 ERA owned by Boston starters is by far the worst in baseball. They're obliging the many skeptics who claimed the Red Sox rotation was lacking a truly reliable starter.

If the Red Sox decide Hamels can be that guy, they definitely have the means to go get him. They also have a lot of money to throw around, as well as Baseball America's No. 2-ranked farm system. It's been reported that the Red Sox won't part with Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart to land Hamels, but they have plenty of other goodies they can pony up to get him.

The Cardinals, Dodgers and Red Sox were already lurking on the Hamels market before the season even began. Now it's probably fair to say the three of them are front and center, and that any of the three could decide in the near future that having Hamels is a necessity rather than a luxury.

But they may not be alone there.

The Chicago Cubs were another team linked to Hamels over the winter, and they could still move on him with 2015 shaping up to be a return to form for the franchise. Like the Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox are would-be contenders in need of starting pitching. Justin Verlander fell from grace in 2014 and is now dealing with a nagging arm injury, so don't rule out the Detroit Tigers as a mystery team in the Hamels sweepstakes.

This is all music to the ears of Amaro. He was criticized during the winter for putting too high a price on Hamels, and warned by some know-it-alls that waiting to deal him during the summer was an unnecessary roll of the dice. But the way things are shaping up, it now looks like there's a real chance his gamble will pay off.

For now, it's unlikely anything is imminent. Prospective Hamels suitors and all other teams are still in the beta testing phases of their seasons, so it's a bit soon for such a massive trade to go down. The Hamels waiting game will probably be resolved in weeks, not days.

But a blockbuster trade should happen eventually. With needs for Hamels' services arising left and right and in all the right places, this is a scenario that's seemingly been upgraded from an "if" to a "when."

Assuming, of course, that Hamels can keep nailing his auditions.

 

Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Best Tweets Surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies as MLB Opening Day Nears

April 2, 2015 by Douglas J Miller  
Filed under Fan News

With the start of April comes the anticipation for Opening Day as the Philadelphia Phillies begin their season with a home opener against the Boston Red Sox on April 6.

Philadelphia fans withstood a poor 2014 season as the Phillies finished in last place in the NL East with a 73-89 record. The sad part is the Phillies look to be in even worse shape this season.

Philadelphia’s general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. traded away long-time Phillies stalwart Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in an attempt to restock the farm system. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels still remain from the 2008 World Series team, but the front office is actively shopping the veterans in an attempt to rebuild the team.

Aging veterans like Utley and Howard do not hold much value in the trade market, but removing Howard’s enormous salary would be a major boost to the club.

On Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park, Hamels will toe the rubber and deliver the first pitch of the season for the Phillies. However, Hamels' future is uncertain as he does hold trade value at 31 years old after coming off an impressive season with a 2.46 ERA.

One Philadelphia name that is not going anywhere is Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, as the former third-baseman will increase his television presence this season.

Phillies fans may still watch the team in their own home at their own leisure, but will people show up to Citizens Bank Park?

Filling a bad team’s stadium with even die-hard fans is a struggle, so how do you fill the seats? By offering a towering mountain of beef.

To go along with the burgers, the Phillies also announced they will be serving hard liquor and wine in the stadium this year.

Now remember, this is the fan base that threw snowballs at Santa Claus. Do they really need any help in getting more belligerent and riled up? The fans will most likely already be in bad spirits due to the team's performances, and libations can only make it worse.

The Philadelphia Phillies may not be a national storyline, but the potential to add Utley, Howard or Hamels to a contender would attract the eyes of the top teams in the league.

Being a fan of a team that may finish the season as the worst in Major League Baseball can be difficult. However, fans will likely still flood South Philadelphia to catch one of the best pitchers in baseball kick-off summer.

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