Hamels' name has been thrown around in trade rumors for what seems like years now, but with the Phillies currently a league-worst 29-62, the time to trade Hamels appears to be right now. With the addition of the second wild card and the parity that is plaguing baseball, there may be more buyers at the deadline than in recent seasons.
Hamels, who is due $70.5 million over the next three seasons after 2015, also has a team option of $20 million in 2019. Although the ability to potentially control Hamels through 2019 appears to be a positive, Seidman reported the opposite.
"Whether or not it's posturing, these clubs have at least so far been hesitant to trade impact prospects and take on Hamels' hefty salary," wrote Seidman. "It's silly, though, because Hamels' remaining contract is about half of what it would cost to sign David Price or [Johnny] Cueto this offseason."
Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports echoed Seidman's optimism regarding Hamels and made a case why teams should attempt to land the lefty.
"He’s not just a second-half pickup," Gleeman wrote. "Hamels would anchor a rotation for three-and-a-half seasons and that’s nearly impossible to acquire via free agency without making a $100 million-plus commitment."
Still, some Phillies fans just want to see Hamels gone so they can start their long, overdue rebuilding process. The Phillies will likely miss the postseason for the fourth consecutive season and appear headed to their second straight last-place finish in the National League East.
Hamels has struggled of late, prompting some to believe that his trade value is plummeting. He gave up a season-high nine runs against the Giants in his final start before the All-Star break, raising his season ERA to 3.63.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has made curious decisions and comments over the past few seasons, prompting him to fall out of favor among the fans. So much so that someone is offering their first-born child in exchange for his firing:
The Phillies are a mess and badly need to have a fire sale. Hamels is undoubtedly their best trade chip and would garner the best package from a contender. If they could land a few prospects in exchange for their 31-year-old ace, who is seemingly rotting away on an awful team, they could have a chance to start trending in a positive direction in 2016.
Bob Brookover of Philly.com noted that a potential trade of Hamels may be the only thing left for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2015.
"The package the Phillies get in return for Hamels will be the most interesting thing that happens between now and the Oct. 4 season finale against the Miami Marlins," he wrote.
The Phillies need to let 2015 be their rock bottom. The best way to do that is to trade away their veterans, get younger and free up some money. Dealing Hamels would be the first step toward accomplishing those goals.
After all, it's improbable that the Phillies will be able to build around Hamels anyway. It will be interesting to see if Amaro pulls the trigger and finally kick-starts the painful rebuild over the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline.