The Cole Hamels rumors are heating up as the trade deadline quickly approaches. And with 10 days left in July, the Cubs are one of at least a handful of teams that continue to talk to the Phillies about Hamels.
Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox and Rangers are interested in Hamels and have continued discussions with the Phillies’ front office about the lefty. The Cubs were among five teams that had scouts in Philadelphia to watch Hamels pitch on Sunday. Jon Heyman reported the other four teams were the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox and Orioles. And the Red Sox had VP Allard Baird attend the game. Heyman indicated the Cubs may have only been doing advance work ahead of the Phillies series at Wrigley Field this weekend (July 24-26).
The Cubs have scouted Hamels for well over a year and based on his previous outing it would have bigger news as far as the Cubs are concerned if the front office did not have scouts in attendance.
Hamels followed up one of the worst starts of his career with a bad outing against the Marlins. Hamels gave up five runs on eight hits without a walk and a strikeout on 76 pitches in three innings to Miami. Jerry Crasnick spoke with one scout that thought Hamels looked hot and “not very interested in being out there.”
Over his last two starts, Hamels has allowed 14 runs on 20 hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
One of the most asked questions in the industry right now, according to Buster Olney, is there something wrong with Cole Hamels.
Many in the game think the rumors and speculation over the last year have finally gotten to him. Hamels said that is not the case. But Ken Rosenthal believes he will pitch like Cole Hamels again once he is out of the mess in Philadelphia and in a better environment.
The Cubs will have a chance to put as many eyes on Cole Hamels as they would like the next time he takes the hill. Hamels was moved up a day and will start Friday at Wrigley, the opener of the three-game series with the Phillies.
The Phillies have reportedly not backed down from the demands for Cole Hamels, but many are questioning if Andy MacPhail will even sign off on a deal before the deadline.
Joel Sherman reported, “MacPhail is renowned for being methodical. He was hired to fix the mess, in part, by finding a replacement for Ruben Amaro Jr. How does a methodical executive such as MacPhail allow a lame-duck GM to trade the lone remaining asset that can speed up the rebuilding process?” And Sherman went on to explain, “MacPhail will be more comfortable doing it in the off-season when he has a much better handle on which scouts he can trust and has a better functioning analytics group.”
According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies “are looking for a package of talent that must include at least one potential game-breaker for Hamels. If the Phillies don’t get what they want, they will revisit trading Hamels in the off-season.”
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer should have a chance to see Cole Hamels pitch for the Phillies at Wrigley in four days. Will the Cubs let him leave town? Stay tuned …