The Cole Hamels rumors have increased over the last two days.
When news surfaced that Rangers’ right-hander Yu Darvish is likely facing season-ending Tommy John surgery, Texas was immediately viewed as a landing spot for Hamels. Rangers’ surgeon Keith Meister discovered a slight tear in Darvish’s ulnar collateral ligament and recommended the surgery. Darvish is going to New York this week and is scheduled to receive a second opinion from the Mets’ David Altchek on Tuesday.
According to Jon Heyman, the Rangers “may take another look at Cole Hamels now after discussing him with the Phillies this winter.” Jon Daniels may not want to give up either Joey Gallo or Jorge Alfaro in a package for Hamels.
The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reported Saturday that the Rangers were “in on Hamels before Darvish injury.” The Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and “at least two other teams” are in on Hamels according to Silverman.
Ken Rosenthal reported the Rangers are not in on Hamels because Daniels was “unwilling to absorb Hamels’ contract before Darvish was hurt.” And Cliff Lee might make more sense for the Rangers due to the lower acquisition cost. Lee is still owed a lot of money and is coming off an elbow injury but trading for Lee would not deplete the Rangers’ system any further.
Depending on the report there were at least 24 scouts and possibly as many as 29 scouts on hand Friday in Clearwater for Hamels first start of the spring. Hamels surrendered a hit to the Yankees over two scoreless innings. Hamels struck out two batters and did not issue a free pass.
Reports Friday indicated the Rangers had two scouts at Hamels’ start and both the Red Sox and Cardinals had at least one scout watching Hamels. Reports have not surfaced which of the other 26 teams had scouts in Clearwater to specifically watch Hamels pitch. And while all eyes were on Hamels in Clearwater, Ruben Amaro Jr. reportedly attended the Red Sox-Marlins game on Friday afternoon.
Charley Kerfeld, one of Ruben Amaro Jr.’s top evaluators, was in Fort Meyers last Monday to get another look at the players the Phillies would like to be included in a trade for either Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee.
As previously reported countless times, Ruben Amaro Jr. is not backing down from his asking price for Hamels. And not only is he telling teams he has to clearly win the deal, but that in order to acquire Hamels a team would have to over pay in terms of the players going back to the Phillies as well as taking over his remaining contract.
The Cubs are believed to be one of the four teams that made a real trade offer for Hamels this winter. The Cubs have not been connected to Cole Hamels by the national media in a while. Bruce Levine mentioned Saturday that he thinks Welington Castillo could be used as part of a bigger package to acquire a pitcher like Cole Hamels. Levine did not say if there had been recent conversation between the Cubs and Phillies.
Updated 3:00am CDT – According to Nick Cafardo, the Yankees “have come the closest to landing Hamels, offering a package of prospects that at least has given the Phillies a baseline for future talks.”
The Cole Hamels noise is only going to get louder in the coming weeks leading up to Opening Day. The Phillies are not in a rush to move him and more than willing for him to face the Red Sox on the first day of the season.
- Phillies’ GM Doubts a Trade Will Happen (March 1)
- One of Phillies’ Top Scouts Reportedly at Red Sox Camp (March 3)