Cole Hamels Trade Rumors: Latest Updates on Dodgers, Rangers and More
Cole Hamels has been having one of his best years so far. Since his last outing on July 15th, he's 11-4 with a 3.07 ERA and 125 strikeouts. Those are ace numbers, and others teams are looking at him as precisely that.
As perhaps the hottest trade piece on the market, there seems to be a new trade rumor every day. Here we'll look at all of the biggest updates and look to see where he may end up.
This will be periodically updated throughout July, with new information added to the beginning of the list.
July 25: Checkmate; Hamels Re-Signed
Talks seemed like they were heading this way after the Phillies seemes to shut out other teams, focusing solely on trying to extend Hamels's contract. None of the numbers floating around quite hit the above, so it's clear to me that Hamels won this.
He will be making an average of $24 million a year, which gives him the most lucrative pitching contract behind CC Sabathia. The Phillies have their man, and between him, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee, their starting rotation is set for many years.
July 23: Stalemate
There has not been much to write about in the Cole Hamels story. Over the weekend, nothing really happened, and the latest news that has made rounds is that "the team expect their contract negotiations to take on more urgency this week" with Hamels.
Is there anything we can sink our teeth into? Not really, it just looks like the next seen days are going to be Hamels and the Phillies playing the waiting game, meaning that any trade rumors will be at a standstill.
Should one party give in a bit, it's possible that a contract gets done, but the closer the trade deadline gets, the more likely that a contract won't be signed.
July 19: Hamels-Phillies Talks Intensify
The Phillies have now appeared to come down on one side of the "trade or sign" question, at least for now. They would much prefer to sign him than trade him.
As a result, they have intensified talks big time, wanting to sign him not only before the offseason, but before the trade deadline as well. Jayson Stark notes that they've focused exclusively on that:
The trick is not necessarily signing him, since Matt Cain and Cliff Lee's contracts give a good estimate of his value. Instead it's staying under the luxury tax threshold, which the team is getting very close to.
While talks have intensified, the key is whether or not the deal itself appears closer. If it does, that's great news for the Phillies, as it will keep their rotation solid for a long time.
July 16: Will Phillies Give Hamels Cliff Lee's Contract?
Let's say that the Phillies are planning to re-sign Cole Hamels. What's a good contract for such a player? He's a 28-year old ace with a proven track record and two top six Cy Young finishes.
According to Jon Heyman, they are looking to give him the type of deal Cliff Lee got, which was for five years and $120 million. At this time, Hamels if 85-58 with a 3.36 career ERA. Lee was 102-61 with a 3.85 ERA, and was three years older.
Suffice to say, Hamels is in his prime, and giving Hamels the same deal as Lee when he is in much better shape stats-wise, especially since the league is moving back to pitching-first, means that a Lee deal is likely not going to get it done.
Heyman says that exact thing in the article, noting: "Agent sources have suggested since spring Hamels could get upwards of $150 million, or more, as a free agent."
The Phillies don't want to overpay since they have so much money locked into just a few players, but if they want to keep Hamels they may have to move to a Johan Santana type deal, which was $137.5 million over six years.
July 15: Everyone's Scouting the Guy
Cole Hamels was visited on the 15th by many scouts who were in attendance. Which teams were in attendance? How about the Rangers, Pirates, Marlins, Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Tigers? Those are just the ones confirmed by CSNPhilly.com.
The fact that all those teams were there doesn't automatically show interest. I keep seeing the Angels pop up as a long-shot candidate, but with the Weaver-Wilson one-two punch they really don't need Hamels unless they're grabbing him solely to keep him away from the Rangers.
In any event, he pitched great in that game, which will only help his trade stock. The latest MLBTradeRumors poll has the idea of an extension or a trade at pretty close to a 50/50 split, which is all the more reason to keep a close eye on upcoming events.
July 15: Do Dodgers Have the Prospects to Snag Hamels?
The Dodgers of late have been one of the most aggressive teams in trying to acquire Hamels. They have an ace in Clayton Kershaw, but someone with experience is always a plus.
While they are aggressive, at this point they're a real long shot. They want him, but it's a question of prospects. In other words, as Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com said recently, they don't seem to have enough talent to offer the Phillies.
They would have to add in Zach Lee or another top prospect, and I just don't see the Dodgers willing to do that for a rental. Things could always change, but for now I would concentrate on which other teams want to pick up Hamels.
July 15: Texas Rangers Trying to Snag Another Phillie?
The Texas Rangers have Roy Oswalt on top of Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and others, so starting pitching isn't the biggest need in the world for them. Still, acquiring Cole Hamels would easily make them the team to beat.
Like many teams, they have sent a scout to watch Hamels pitch. Who that scout is is what makes this a surprise, however. They sent Don Welke (as reported by Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer), who is not only a big-time Rangers scout, but a former employee for, you guessed it, the Phillies.
This tells me that they are serious about acquiring Hamels, but the question is just what they would give up for him. Jurickson Profar is certainly off limits, but others such as Mike Olt could certainly be players that the Phillies would want.
A trade involving Leonys Martin and Martin Perez—who could potentially replace Shane Victorino and Hamels—is a possibility, but it's simply speculation. Unlike the Dodgers, I'm not finding anything that suggests the Rangers are heavily pursuing Hamels.