The Sun-Times reported late Thursday night a deal with the Phillies for Cole Hamels was not going to happen. And the front office will likely have to go the free agent route in order to add a top of the rotation starter to the pitching staff. “The Cubs have the projected payroll flexibility to handle a Hamels-like contract and depth of attractive prospects to deal – but no desire to spend volumes of both on one player” according to the report.
And Bruce Levine reported late Thursday the Phillies are not interested in trading Cole Hamels.
According to the Sun-Times, the Phillies “sought one of the Cubs’ touted young shortstops in any package for Hamels.” With Starlin Castro and Javier Baez on the 40-man roster and the likelihood of either one of the two clearing waivers being slim-to-none, the Phillies had to ask for Addison Russell. Todd Zolecki reported the Cubs would have to meet the Phillies demands for Hamels, which would be “multiple top-tier prospects.”
Multiple reports indicated Thursday the Cubs were the team that was awarded the waiver claim on LHP Cole Hamels. If the reports were accurate, the Cubs and Phillies would have had until Friday to work out a deal for Hamels.
Ruben Amaro Jr. sees Hamels as the Phillies ace moving forward and a key piece to the rebuilding process that will take place over the next few years. In other words, Amaro had no desire to move Hamels, regardless of the return.
One of the Sun-Times’ sources indicated the Phillies “were considered one of the most unrealistic teams to deal with, despite making several veteran players available to would-be contenders.” Amaro knows he cannot tear the team down and not get Major League talent back in order to keep the team as competitive as possible at the big league level.
The Cubs are one of the few teams that have the prospect currency to pull off a trade for Cole Hamels. As Buster Olney put it, the Cubs “are potentially a great, great match with its army of prospects.” Olney feels the Phillies should look into trading Hamels because by the time the team is ready to contend again, Hamels would “be on the backend of his contract with diminished value, like Cliff Lee is now.”
If the Cubs were indeed the team that put the claim in on Hamels, if nothing else it signifies the baseball department has the means in which to add a top of the rotation starter to the roster, possibly as early as this off-season. And the Cubs are reportedly prepared to make a “nine-figure investment in a frontline starter.”
The Cubs had the money for RHP Masahiro Tanaka until the Yankees came in with a higher bid and priced him past the value the Cubs placed on Tanaka. LHP Jon Lester is believed to be high on the Cubs list and will hit free agency at the end of the season.
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, “the Cubs are shopping for a No. 1 starter and will pay market rate. They’re looking beyond just sign-and-flip guys and back-of-the-rotation depth. They want someone who can take the ball for Game 1 of a playoff series and perform on a cool October night at Wrigley Field.”
Friday should be an interesting day for the Chicago Cubs, even when the Phillies officially pull Cole Hamels back. The Cubs are still working on a deal to acquire RHP Jacob Turner from the Marlins.