Cliff Lee may be done. His career may be over. Chase Utley is not the same player he once was. Neither is Ryan Howard. Jimmy Rollins is gone. So are any chances that the Phillies had of competing over the next few MLB seasons. This team is in dire need of a complete rebuild, and that must begin with the Phillies trading Cole Hamels. He is, by far, the team’s biggest trade chip. While Philadelphia does have Hamels under contract for a few more seasons, the time to trade him is now. Pitchers get hurt. Players goes through slumps. Anything can happen. With less than a month before the start of the 2015 MLB regular season, could the Phillies trade Hamels to the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs?
Why delay the inevitable? Sure, perhaps the Phillies could get more for Hamels by holding onto him right before the MLB Trade Deadline in July. Maybe they could get a team to reach a higher level of desperation by waiting. But it could also backfire. Quite a few teams are in need of starting pitching right this minute, and Hamels’s name comes up more than any other player.
We know that the Blue Jays are in a win-now mode, but they just lost Marcus Stroman for the season. That is a huge loss to the team’s starting rotation, but that may only make them more hungry to land a player such as Hamels. Philadelphia would be insane not to at least gauge the interest of the Phillies, especially after losing Stroman.
The Red Sox have been after Hamels for quite some time now, yet the two sides have basically been one player away for the entire duration of their trade talks. The Phillies want Blake Swihart. The Red Sox do not want to trade him. If either side budges, this trade could go down in an instant.
It was reported that the Yankees had come the closest to acquiring Hamels, yet he is still in Clearwater for Spring Training, while all of the Yankees’ rostered players are in Tampa. What is the hold-up with this one? Nobody knows, but what we do know is that the Yankees desperately need help at starting pitching, and Hamels would certainly solve some of their issues.
What about the Orioles? They have a talented team. They love to try to throw money at big name players. Hamels is talented and already has signed a lucrative contract. Why not make a push to bring him to Baltimore?
As for the Dodgers, it would appear that they already have a quality rotation. But, this is the Dodgers. If there is a star available, expect them to do their due diligence. Nothing would surprise me when it comes to the Dodgers.
Finally, I had to throw in the Astros and Cubs. Neither is going to content for a playoff berth in 2016. They may not be big time players in 2016 either. But, these two teams are clearly headed in the right direction. Hamels would cement himself as an ace for the Astros immediately, or would make for a great 1-2 punch with Jon Lester with the Cubs.
Hamels could land with any of these teams. He could remain with the Phillies. He could also get dealt to the San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins or Chicago White Sox. At this point, these are mostly rumors.
But, don’t think for a moment that the Phillies would not trade Hamels in an a heartbeat if the right deal fell into their laps.