The Philadelphia Phillies will trade Cole Hamels. That much appears certain. As we draw closer and closer to Spring Training (although, you would never know that if you live in the Northeast), many MLB teams still have a need to add a quality starting pitcher, while the Phillies have an even bigger need to focus on rebuilding by paring down some of their payroll. Philadelphia has Hamels under its control for a few more seasons, meaning the team does not need to deal its best player. Yet, when you look at the fact that this team is simply nowhere near being able to compete with the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves and the rest of the National League East, it is clearly time for the Phillies to tear things down and start over. Hamels is the team’s biggest asset, meaning they must trade him, whether they see that now or not until the MLB Trade Deadline in August, remains to be seen.
The Boston Red Sox have closely been linked to Hamels for quite some time, although they remain hesitant to meet the Phillies’ asking price to pry away a No. 1 starter. Boston needs to improve its starting rotation, yet the team still insists it will not trade top catching prospect, Blake Swihart. The Phillies feel confident that some team will include a top prospect or two to acquire Hamels, so they are holding pat in asking for Swihart from the Red Sox.
Although, as much as the Phillies would love to acquire Swihart from the Red Sox in a deal involving Hamels, the team reportedly “covets” San Diego Padres pitching prospect, Andrew Cashner. The Padres have been extremely busy this past offseason, landing players such as Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. If San Diego is willing to trade Cashner, it appears as if they could bring in Hamels to take over as the team’s No. 1 ace.
Either way, look for the Hamels trade talks to continue until the Phillies decide to pull the trigger on a deal. It may not happen before Spring Training. It may not happen before Opening Day. But, at some point or another, it will happen.