Trade Rumors still swirl around Phillies Cole Hamels

cole-hamels-tradeAt 29-60, the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t getting any better. In fact, they are the worst team in baseball by a 7.5-game margin. But despite how bad they are, they still have one big asset that many winnings teams would like to have – staff ace Cole Hamels. In contrast to other Philadelphia pitchers, the 31-year-old lefty has managed a 5-7 record and 3.63 ERA – both very respectable totals considering the situation.

Hamels’ name has been thrown around quite a bit over the past few weeks. And we’re hearing his name even more in trade talks as the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approaches. With 20 of the 30 MLB teams within contention (5 games) of a playoff spot, over half the league would love to upgrade their rotation by adding Hamels.

The big reason why the 9-year veteran hasn’t been traded yet is because the Phillies don’t want to settle on a subpar deal. As CBS Sports reports, the team claims they are “not bending” on any potential deal for Hamels.

It’s unclear what type of offers have been made for Hamels so far, or even what exactly they want for him. Other general managers say that Philadelphia is asking too much for Hamels, meaning he could stay with the team for the foreseeable future. Many clubs may not be willing to fork over highly valuable future prospects for a guy who’s 31 and perhaps starting the downside of his career. The numbers, although great for just about anybody else, seem to verify this:

3.63 ERA – Worst since 2009
1.22 WHIP – Worst since 2009
2.9 BB per 9 IP – Worst since 2006
3.32 K-BB Ratio – Worst since 2006
104 ERA+ – Worst since 2013

cole-hamels-trade-1Again, these are still numbers that most clubs would welcome from a starting pitcher. However, they may not scream being worthy of 1-2 elite future prospects. That said, if the Phillies want maximum value for Hamels, now may be the only time to get it.

But on the other hand, it’s not like they HAVE to trade away their best pitcher. They have Hamels under contract for three more years, meaning they get the last few great seasons of his career and some more wins along with it. And sure, Philadelphia is probably at least two years away from being good again. However, trading Hamels away for less than asking price isn’t really going to speed up the process any.

Provided the Phillies don’t receive what they want, another scenario could involve them holding on to their star until the offseason, thus giving GM Ruben Amaro Jr. more time to seek out the best trade possible.

So looking at things from a broad perspective, don’t expect Hamels to be going anywhere in the near future, unless Philadelphia gets at least one enticing prospect along with some smaller parts. At this point, we estimate the chances of this happening at a little over 50%. After all, there are plenty of desperate teams so far still within striking distance of the postseason.

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