MLB Trade Rumors 2012: Can Detroit Tigers Acquire Cole Hamels?

Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIINovember 15, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 4: Starter Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during game three of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 4, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With the lack of movement and excitement in the the free agent market thus far, the ESPN rumor mill spun out the question and/or the possibility of the Philadelphia Phillies trading LHP Cole Hamels. Despite an excellent season, Hamels will be a free agent after next year, and the Phillies might be hard pressed to afford him. Detroit was one of the teams ESPN suggested might have interest in the Philly left hander.

What would it take to acquire Hamels? First, if Philly decides they need to deal Hamels (much like they did with Cliff Lee) they will want at least one major league ready or major league pitcher in return. They will also want some position players, as their farm system is very thin in impact players.

Detroit doesn't have an especially deep farm system, so making a deal for Hamels will be at best difficult. If Detroit were to make this deal, they would probably want to have a contract extension in place to guarantee Hamels would be in Detroit for at least three years.

I would propose Detroit would need to give up at least three prospects and either Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello. I think Detroit would rather part with Porcello, but that is just my opinion. I don't think Detroit will be willing to give up either Drew Smyly or Jacob Turner, so that leaves Andy Oliver, Casey Crosby, Jay Voss and Brennan Smith as the pitchers likely to be packaged. Oliver is still considered to have good up side, while Crosby finally finished a season without being on the injured list. Voss and Smith both put up very good numbers this season and could have good major league careers. As for position players, I would expect Daniel Fields (who is still highly regarded), Gustavo Nunez and Ryan Strieby to be the names packaged.

I really doubt the Phillies trade Hamels, and I doubt Detroit would have enough to get Hamels, but if they could trade for a package of the players listed above they should absolutely do it. Hamels was the number three in Philly this year, but often pitched like a number two or one. In Detroit he would slide into either the number three or two depending on how Jim Leyland wants to balance his rotation.