Cole Hamels hasn’t exactly gotten off to a good start this season. Hamels has only faced two teams in the Red Sox and Nationals, but only his first start against the Nationals looked like a Cole Hamels’ outing. The Phillies haven’t officially announced which game of the Marlins series Hamels will start. He’s in line to take the hill Wednesday night.
Nick Cafardo reported Sunday one general manager that has inquired about Hamels said Ruben Amaro Jr. has not reduced the Phillies asking price for Hamels. The Phillies “are willing to play it out until the trade deadline, figuring teams’ rotations will trend one way of the other.”
Many in the game still think the Red Sox are the best fit for Cole Hamels. But Amaro Jr. is not going to land either Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart in the deal. Ben Cherington stuck to his guns throughout the off-season and while Boston could use Hamels, Cherington did the right thing by not using either player in a package to acquire Hamels.
The Red Sox rocked Hamels on Opening Day. Hamels served up four home runs and lasted just five innings with three walks and six strikeouts. And he’s not been effective this year in two of his three starts.
Cole Hamels has given up seven home runs in just 18 innings. Teams hit 14 longballs off Hamels a year ago in 30 starts (204 2/3 innings). Hamels has given up 12 hits and his 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (18 strikeouts, 9 walks) has to be concerning to teams that have talked to the Phillies about the lefty. Hamels has allowed 10 runs, seven earned, for a 5.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 7.56 FIP.
Throughout the off-season it was reported Ruben Amaro Jr. was asking for at least three top prospects in a package for Hamels. And it was widely reported that Amaro Jr. told teams that he had to clearly win any deal for Hamels or he simply would not trade him.
The Phillies have maintained that any team looking to acquire Hamels would have to send a package of top prospects as well as take the remaining four years and $96 million guaranteed money left on Hamels’ contract. The Phillies were not willing to include any financial relief in a deal for Hamels.
According to a recent report from Jim Bowden, “the Phillies are determined to get at least two prospects” for Hamels. Bowden thinks a team will pay what the Phillies are asking for as it gets closer to the deadline.
Ken Rosenthal recently explained, “In trades today, teams generally secure financial relief or top prospects, not both.”
The Cubs are believed to be one of the four teams that made a legitimate offer for Hamels in the off-season. But the Cubs are not going to include Kris Bryant or Jorge Soler or Addison Russell in any deal for a pitcher.
Ken Rosenthal pointed out the Phillies will not be able to acquire players such as Corey Seager (Dodgers), Addison Russell (Cubs) or either Mookie Betts (Red Sox) or Blake Swihart (Red Sox) from three of the teams believed to have shown the most interest in Hamels during the winter.
Rosenthal thinks the Red Sox could send a package of very good prospects to the Phillies for Hamels, just not the players Amaro Jr. wanted to receive for Hamels. And Rosenthal reported the best deal for the Phillies would probably be working out a trade with Boston, “unless the Cubs decide to jump.”