MLB Trade Rumors: Breaking Down Best Potential Landing Spots for Cole Hamels
Although the Philadelphia Phillies were hoping to hang around in the NL East race until their sluggers got healthy, it just didn't happen. They currently sit 14 games behind the Washington Nationals, fueling speculation that ace Cole Hamels might be moved before the deadline.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports reports the Phillies will attempt to sign Hamels to a new contract before making him available, but one source told him there's only a 30 percent chance of a deal. With that in mind, let's look at the best possible destinations for the starter based on the report's list.
The Rangers should have no trouble generating offense thanks to one of the deepest lineups in baseball. The confidence level in the team's starting rotation isn't quite as high, however, which makes Texas a prime candidate for Hamels.
There are question marks concerning just about every Texas starter. Matt Harrison has been a pleasant surprise, but his peripheral numbers point to a drop off in the second half. It's tough to project how Yu Darvish will handle his first MLB workload. And Colby Lewis has battled injury.
That trio carried the rotation in the first half, so if they struggle it will be a major issue since nobody else has stepped up. Acquiring Hamels would give them a lot more stability in the rotation and take a lot of pressure off those other three pitchers.
Which of these teams would be the best fit for Hamels?
Justin Verlander gives the Tigers a terrific chance to win every fifth day. It's been those four days in between that have to worry the Tigers front office, especially when considering a potential playoff series against an elite offense like the Rangers or New York Yankees.
While a pitcher like Max Scherzer has a boatload of talent, he hasn't been able to translate that into consistent success. Every other starter in the rotation remains unproven at the major league level, leaving a lot of question marks moving forward.
Putting together Verlander (right-hander) and Hamels (left-hander) would give the Tigers one of the best one-two punches in baseball. It would also mean they would only need one of those other starters to excel to have a formidable playoff rotation instead of two.
Even though the Red Sox have dealt with some terrible injury luck, they are still in the thick of the playoff race and would benefit greatly from adding a front-line starter like Hamels. The team's rotation has been a massive disappointment so far.
Jon Lester certainly hasn't pitched like an ace. Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz have both underperformed. And it's tough to trust pitchers like Felix Doubront and Franklin Morales, even though they have pitched well for stretches.
Bringing in Hamels to lead the rotation would give them a much better chance of chasing down the Wild Card leaders than sticking with the current group. Just like the other teams on the list, the Red Sox would also allow the Phillies to trade Hamels out of the National League.
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