MLB Trade Rumors: Cole Hamels Open to Re-Signing with Phillies Even If Traded

Zak SchmollAnalyst IJuly 10, 2012

Cole Hamels recently told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly that even if the Philadelphia Phillies trade him, he will give them every chance to sign him back in the offseason.

"I’ll always give them the first choice," Hamels said. "If there are multiple teams I’m always going to put them at the top of my list."

He cites the fact that he grew up watching Tony Gwynn play for the San Diego Padres his entire career, and that has always been appealing to him.

With this new piece of information, is a trade more likely to happen?

After all, maybe the Phillies could pull off something like they did with Cliff Lee. They would get prospects in the trade but then be able to bring back Hamels this winter.

There seems to be no downside to this deal assuming that Hamels is truly sincere about giving Philadelphia priority.

However, Hamels is an intelligent player and businessperson, and if he hits the open market, his value will surely skyrocket. If teams begin bidding against each other, the Phillies would most likely have to match the top offer to bring Hamels back.

Right now—at least, according to Salisbury's impressions—the two sides agree that Hamels is worth about $24 million per year. The Phillies don't have a problem with that, but they can't agree to the length of the contract.

While Hamels will probably not get more than $24 million per season on the market, what if he did? If the Phillies truly want him long-term, which I think they should, they should get this deal done now. They shouldn't trust the open market to bring down his price or demands whatsoever.

Many people criticize the Phillies for not thinking about the future and being in a "win now" mindset, but bringing back Hamels would be investing in one of the best pitchers in baseball through his prime. That seems to be an excellent move.


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