Jonathan Papelbon did not hold back Monday when asked about his situation with the Phillies. And based on what is being seen from the outside looking in, one has to wonder if Papelbon was also speaking for Cole Hamels.
Cole Hamels has been dealing with rumors and speculation from the media for at least a year. Hamels’ interim manager Pete Mackanin thinks it is all wearing on the lefty both on and off the field. And Hamels might not be any closer to being dealt to a team than he was last August when the Cubs claimed him off waivers.
The Phillies are “not bending” on their demands for Hamels and with Andy MacPhail having to sign off on any deals there is a growing belief in the game that Hamels will not be traded before the deadline.
Ruben Amaro Jr. may have the title but he is not the Phillies’ GM any longer. Andy MacPhail is calling the shots for the Phillies. MacPhail does not officially take over until October. But he has to approve all trades and that obviously includes both Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. MacPhail is very slow and deliberate in every baseball decision he makes. With MacPhail getting his legs under him in Philly, he could stand pat and wait until the off-season before moving any of his players.
During a round table discussion on MLB Network Radio prior to the Futures Game, Jim Bowden said from what he is learned and the way he knows MacPhail he thinks there is only a 35 percent chance Hamels is traded before the deadline. And Jim Duquette is even less certain than Bowden a deal will be done. Duquette thinks there is only a 25 percent chance the Phillies trade Hamels.
The Phillies are still out doing the legwork. Scouts are evaluating Major and minor league players of the teams interested in trading for Hamels.
With the number of top of the rotation starters that will hit the market this fall, the best time to maximize Hamels’ value is right now. If Hamels makes it past the deadline, it is highly unlikely a deal could be made in August. Once David Price, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Jeff Samardzija, just to name a handful of pitchers that will soon be free agents, Hamels value decreases significantly because a team is not going to give up their top prospects and pay his entire salary.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported if Hamels is not moved by July 31, the Phillies would likely have to hold on to him until next July when his value would be high again. At that point, not only would he be a year older but the Phillies are risking another calendar year of him suffering a significant injury.
Cole Hamels is struggling on the mound and looking at the numbers proves Pete Mackanin is correct.
Hamels has allowed 48 runs, 47 earned, on 105 hits with 123 strikeouts and 37 walks in 116 2/3 innings (3.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 3.41 FIP) this season. In April, the Opening Day start against the Red Sox skewed his numbers (12 runs, 11 earned, on 21 hits with 16 walks and 32 strikeouts in 31 innings, 3.19 ERA and 1.19 WHIP). Hamels bounced back with a very good May (13 runs on 35 hits with nine walks and 44 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings, 2.70 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) and has been very inconsistent since June 3.
Hamels allowed 14 runs on 31 hits with 10 walks and 37 strikeouts in 32 innings (3.94 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) in June and his last time out, Hamels lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Giants and was charged with nine runs on 12 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Hamels outing against San Francisco prompted Mackanin’s comments.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have talked about the Cubs making trades that will help the team in the short and long-term. It is not likely the front office would deal the prospects it takes to acquire a big name rental player but trading for a player with multiple years of club control would not go against The Plan.
Based on Nick Cafardo’s report, the Cubs are still one of the teams interested in Cole Hamels. But Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer might be forced to pull the trigger on other deals to improve the Cubs because they cannot wait for Andy MacPhail and Pat Gillick to decide what the Phillies want to do.