Cole Hamels is the definition of an ace, having made at least 30 starts in seven consecutive seasons while eclipsing 200 innings all but once during that time frame. During his nine-year career with the Phillies, the left-hander has pitched to a 3.27 ERA (3.48 FIP), 8.53 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.26 walks per nine innings in 1,801.1 innings, good for a 34.4 fWAR.
Hamels, who turns 31 in December, will make $96 million over the final four years of his contract (not including a $20 million vesting option for 2019). He also has a 20-team no-trade clause and nine-team block list in his contract, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts. However, as of now, the only team known not to be included on either list is the Chicago Cubs, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney.
In the past, the Phillies have dangled Hamels to both gauge interest and make their asking price known. Most recently, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. placed Hamels on revocable waivers last August only to have him claimed by the Cubs. However, the Phillies ultimately pulled him back off waivers after but the two teams failed to work out a deal.
Don’t get me wrong, the rebuilding process in Philadelphia should have begun years ago; however, Amaro did make the right decision by holding off on trading Hamels until the offseason. Now, he is prepared to wait and see how the market for free agents Max Scherzer and Jon Lester unfolds before deciding whether to deal his ace left-hander, per Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.