Cole Hamels Free-Agency Rumors: 5 Reasons He Could Soon Be an L.A. Dodger

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2012

Cole Hamels Free-Agency Rumors: 5 Reasons He Could Soon Be an L.A. Dodger

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    With a new ownership group in place for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it appears as if things will be changing for the better with the franchise.

    Led by Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson, the Dodgers will likely go out and make a number of moves over the next few years that should make the team a perennial playoff participant.

    After seeing all of the moves that the Los Angeles Angels made this past winter, it could be the Dodgers that end up stealing the spotlight during the 2012 offseason.

    Jim Bowden of ESPN has noted that one of the first things the Dodgers will do next year will likely be going after Cole Hamels when he becomes a free agent.

They Have the Money

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    The new Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, Guggenheim Baseball Partners, paid a record $2 billion to acquire the franchise.

    One of the reasons the group invested so much in the franchise is because of the potential TV deal that they may be able to acquire.

    There should be no shortage of cash in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers should be players for any free agent that they are interested in.

Hamels Isn't Taking a Hometown Discount

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    The Philadelphia Phillies will not be getting a hometown discount on Cole Hamels, according to Buster Olney.

    This means that the star starting pitcher is likely looking to hit the free-agent market to maximize the value of his contract.

    There is a chance that the Dodgers offer him the most money.

Hamels Is a California Kid

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    It is hard to discount the allure of a player pitching in his home state.

    Cole Hamels grew up in San Diego, California, and he could be interested in returning to within a few hours of his hometown.

    This will give the Dodgers an advantage that no other team that will likely chase after Hamels will have.

    If the offers are close, this could be the tipping point.

The Dodgers Would Have a Lethal One-Two Punch

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    If the Los Angeles Dodgers are able to sign Cole Hamels this winter, then they will have one of the top one-two punches at the top of their rotation.

    The only teams that could really challenge a combination of Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels are the Phillies, Giants and Tigers.

It Would Endear the New Ownership Group to the Fans

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    It is pretty obvious that Los Angeles Dodgers fans had a bit of a rocky relationship with former team owner Frank McCourt.

    The new ownership group is going to want to make sure they stay in the fans' good graces.

    One of the ways to do this is for them to go out and spend money on big-name free agents.

    Cole Hamels makes the most sense out of all of the players on the free-agent market next year, and bringing him to Los Angeles would usher in a new era of Dodgers baseball.