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Cole Hamels has been lights out for Philadelphia this season, posting a 10-4 record, 9.0 K/9, and a 3.08 ERA. He was recently voted to the All-Star team for the third time in his career, but what’s the point of keeping Hamels in Philadelphia for the rest of the season?
Hamels has a monstrous trade value and would finally allow the Phillies to revive their lineup with younger prospects at a variety of positions.
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that Philadelphia’s asking price for Hamels would be three or four prospects, emphasizing third base and the outfield as positions of interest.
Two days ago, however, Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury that Hamels wasn’t going anywhere.
All this rumor and speculation is a product of the time of the year and the way we’ve been playing. That’s how this works. Our goal has always been to keep Cole Hamels in our uniform for a long time and that hasn’t changed.
But Amaro needs to face the facts.
Hamels’ contract expires at the end of the season, and CBS’ Jon Heyman says there has not been any progress in the discussion of a future deal for the pitcher.
So if negotiations remain stagnant and Philadelphia continues to slide out of contention, why not sell Hamels to the highest bidder?
The New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers are all high payroll organizations that are in need of an additional starting pitcher. They may be willing to rent Hamels for three months, and who knows, they might even feel they can convince the lefty to stick around for a few more years.
What makes matters really interesting is that each one of those teams has a third baseman locked in for the foreseeable future (Yankees: A-Rod, Cardinals: David Freese, Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, Rangers: Adrian Beltre).
If you are Amaro, why not test the waters to see if you can grab one of their top prospects at third as well as two other minor leaguers, maybe in the outfield or an additional reliever? Third basemen Mike Olt (TEX) and Nick Castellanos (DET) are each ranked in the top-50 in MLB.com’s 2012 Prospect Watch. The Yankees and Cardinals have outfielders Mason Williams (NYY) and Oscar Taveras (STL) ranking 62nd and 86th, respectively.
Let’s face it—it’s time Amaro starts playing the hand he’s been dealt.
It always stings letting a great player like Hamels go, but with the current situation in Philadelphia, selling Hamels makes more sense than having him win 20 games for the last-place team in the NL East.