NY Yankees: 10 Reasons Brian Cashman May Be Plotting Cole Hamels Blockbuster
What would the offseason be without a blockbuster trade happening?
A lot of focus has been on the free agent market, but the pitching department seems to be low on stock.
Brian Cashman hasn't liked what he's seen there, so he'll likely go elsewhere to get that pitcher the New York Yankees so desire. That place could end up being Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies may want to move him to get some value back and restock their farm system.
If Cashman can pull off a trade for Hamels, then it'll surely be the biggest acquisition of the offseason.
Of course, this is purely all speculation since there's been no word on if the Phillies are going to move Hamels and break up their rotation.
However, the trade makes sense for both sides. Here are the reasons why.
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A lot of people seem to think that the New York Yankees need a true No. 2 pitcher to help out their rotation.
While I certainly agree, I don't think the Yankees' rotation is that abysmal.
If Ivan Nova can repeat his rookie season, if Phil Hughes can stay healthy and live up to his potential and if A.J. Burnett can post an ERA lower than 5.00, the Yankees have a solid rotation.
But those are a lot of big "ifs." In fact, each one of those "ifs" is likely bigger than CC Sabathia.
That is why the Yankees are looking for a pitcher to help them out.
Cole Hamels could be that pitcher. His numbers indicate he can be a No. 1 starter for any team.
However, the transition to the AL might change those numbers a bit meaning he'll likely be the Yankees' No. 2 behind Sabathia.
That doesn't mean he won't pitch well. He did pitch in Citizen's Bank Park which might as well be a little league field.
Weak Free Agent Market
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This year's free agent pitching market is rather weak and has gotten weaker.
Mark Buerhle and C.J. Wilson are gone. They're just about two of the few sure things in the pitching market.
Now that they're gone, don't expect Brian Cashman to shell out a lot of cash for an aging Roy Oswalt or Hiroki Kuroda.
That's why the New York Yankees have been linked to just about every starting pitcher on the trading block. Everyone expects the Yankees to make a trade to boost their rotation and give it much needed depth.
There are a lot of question marks behind CC Sabathia in the Yankees' rotation. Adding Cole Hamels would get rid of a few of them without having to overpay on a mediocre free agent.
Free Agent in 2012
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Cole Hamels is going to be a free agent after the 2012 season. As of now, the Philadelphia Phillies haven't signed him to an extension.
Chances are, Hamels is going to see if he can get the big bucks. After all, he's younger than C.J. Wilson and has had a better track record in his career.
Look at Hamels's career 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP to Wilson's 3.60 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Someone's going to pay Hamels a lot of money with those stats.
The Phillies risk losing him for next to nothing if they don't trade him. If they do, they can get prospects or players to help their team out either immediately or in the long run.
The Phillies Need Youth
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The core of the Philadelphia Phillies' team is old, and unless they find the Fountain of Youth, they're not getting any younger.
Aging comes with injuries and decreased stats.
The Phillies' lineup was once considered the juggernaut of the NL, but time has caught up to them.
The Hunter Pence trade brought some youth to the team, as did the promotion of Domonic Brown.
However, the majority of their team is still on the wrong side of 30. The window for the Phillies to win is closing fast. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley aren't going to be the same players three or four years from now.
Trading Hamels can boost their team by bringing in fresh, young bodies.
Sure, the Phillies could trade one of their older players, but Hamels is the best bet for them to rake in young prospects since Halladay and Lee don't seem to be going anywhere soon...
...especially since they gave up a lot of pieces in their farm system to acquire those guys in the first place.
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One guy the New York Yankees can throw to help that youth problem is Eduardo Nunez.
Jimmy Rollins may have just re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, but the team could use a solid backup as well as a future replacement.
Nunez's hitting is getting better and his glove should improve too.
If the Yankees end up signing Hiroyuki Nakajima, he'll likely take over Nunez's job as backup infielder should he be able to prove he can do it.
Therefore, Nunez would be expendable and there would be teams out there interested in a young shortstop with a solid bat.
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Everybody seems to want Jesus Montero. Any trade rumor the New York Yankees have been in have involved Montero, so it makes sense that they would have to give him up to acquire Cole Hamels.
Montero has the potential to be a legitimate hitting star. He's shown what he can do this past season, and it only makes sense for him to continue to improve.
A bat like that can help the Philadelphia Phillies' offense immensely. His bat will make up for his glove, so he can slide right in as the Phillies' everyday catcher.
Just imagine what he can do in Citizens Bank Park. I know Phillies fans are getting a head rush just thinking of the numbers Montero can put up there.
Montero would be the Phillies' new star and, along with Hunter Pence and Domonic Brown, the face of a new era in Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies Need to Improve Their Offense
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I was hinting at this with the last two slides, but I'll officially say it here: the Philadelphia Phillies need offensive help.
Betcha Phillies fans are proud to have Raul Ibanez as their second best home run hitter and RBI guy.
I'm also sure they know they can count on Ryan Howard to never strikeout. Wait, they can't? Never mind, then.
The rest of their lineup is getting old and injury prone. Chase Utley hasn't been the same since 2009 when he hit 31 homers with 93 RBI.
Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez can both help out the club either immediately or somewhere down the road with their offensive skills—especially Montero, with his performance last season.
The Phillies seem to be all set with their pitching, but as we saw last postseason, even the best rotation in the world can't win you a championship.
The AL Landscape
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The AL just got a whole lot more interesting.
Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson joined the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Now they finally have a legitimate home run threat in their lineup which they've been lacking since the departure of Vladimir Guerrero.
The addition of Wilson gives them possibly the best rotation in the AL with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson leading it.
Then, there's the arrival of Yu Darvish. He's a wild card since it remains to be seen if he can live up to the hype. But if he does, the Texas Rangers are in a position to make a serious run for the World Series again.
Of course, you can't forget about the AL East, but we'll get to that in a second.
The Rivalry Continues
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The Boston Red Sox aren't going to collapse again, not with new manager Bobby Valentine at the helm (that noise you just heard was every single New York Yankees fan collectively saying "Dammit").
The Red Sox are still a good team with one of the best lineups and rotations in baseball.
Carl Crawford should be able to bounce back and get back to his Tampa Bay Rays form. Adrian Gonzalez should continue to post MVP-type numbers. Josh Beckett and Jon Lester still form one of the best pitching duos in the majors.
Then there's the Tampa Bay Rays. They've long been the laughing stock of the AL East, but Joe Maddon and his young team has proven otherwise.
The Rays' young rotation—led by James Shields and David Price—might be the best in the AL East. Evan Longoria figures to bounce back and get his batting average back up to where it should be.
While neither one of them made any large improvements so far, the Yankees can't just stand around hoping those teams won't get better.
Another One Joins the Fight
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I'm talking about that extra wild card spot.
As of right now, there are six playoff caliber teams: the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers.
Potentially, that's eight teams fighting for five playoff spots.
If the New York Yankees want one of those spots, and I'm sure they do, then they're going to need all the help they can get.
A duo of CC Sabathia and Cole Hamels at the top of the rotation can secure a playoff berth and possibly carry them during the postseason.
The Yankees are a playoff team right now, but there's nothing to indicate they will make it to the World Series with the team they currently have.
Cole Hamels can provide that boost if Brian Cashman is willing to pull the trigger and stun the baseball world and the Philadelphia Phillies with a Godfather-like offer.