According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have made star lefty Cole Hamels available on the trade market. With the Phillies recently moving Jim Thome to the Baltimore Orioles, it is clear that the team is in trade mode.
The Red Sox should get in on any deal for Hamels as soon as possible.
What is unclear at this point is exactly what the Phillies would want in return, but a package of top prospects would appear to be the asking price. Think Jose Iglesias, Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes-caliber prospects.
Regardless, the Boston Red Sox should go all out for Hamels. He would become Boston's immediate ace. A true ace is something the Red Sox have not had all season. A winning team knows exactly who they would give the ball to if the season came down to one game. The Red Sox simply do not have that.
They would get that luxury in Hamels.
Hamels is 10-4, with a 3.08 ERA. He has compiled 111 strikeouts and has walked 28 batters this season.
For comparison, here are the numbers for Boston’s starters:
Josh Beckett: 4-7, 4.06, 60 strikeouts, 20 walks
Jon Lester: 5-5, 4.53, 79 strikeouts, 27 walks
Clay Buchholz: 8-3, 5.53, 58 strikeouts, 38 walks
Felix Doubront: 8-4, 4.54, 87 strikeouts, 29 walks
Daisuke Matsuzaka: 0-2, 4.91, 20 strikeouts, six walks
Franklin Morales (as a starter): 1-0, 2.00, 24 strikeouts, three walks
If the Red Sox are able to snag Hamels at the trade deadline, they would suddenly become a powerhouse. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Andrew Bailey are all slated to return around the All-Star break. Add Hamels to that mix, and the Red Sox start to look like a very scary team.
The Red Sox have the prospects to get a deal done, what they would need is an assurance they could sign Hamels to a long-term contract. Hamels is a free agent at the end of the season and Jon Heyman believes the 29-year-old is looking for a CC Sabathia-type deal.
That is, a deal in the neighborhood of $161 million over seven years.
Red Sox fans may be weary of yet another long-term contract (think John Lackey here), but Hamels is a much different animal than the other players the Red Sox have singed to such deals. Hamels is an All-Star this season and was fifth in the Cy Young race last year. He has also shown no signs of slowing down.
It may be hard to part ways with the exciting young talent the Red Sox would have to give up in any deal for Hamels, but that’s the price you pay when you can potentially bring on the star of your staff for years to come.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com