The Major League Baseball trade deadline is a little more than one month away. While David Price will be the player most frequently discussed, the Philadelphia Phillies will be the team that has the most rumors floating around them.
They have high-priced veterans on their roster who can help contending teams. They need to rebuild their farm system with an eye towards the future. Perhaps most importantly, the Phillies have the money to to absorb a portion of those big contracts in exchange for top-end prospects (if they are willing).
For those reasons we have seen the Phillies listed in any number of trade rumors involving the likes of Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, and Jimmy Rollins. Those deals get complicated, however, because Rollins and Utley have no-trade clauses and because Lee is dealing with an injury.
If the Phillies won’t be able to haul in a big, rebuilding trade for one of those guys, should they look elsewhere on their roster? If they do, could they pursue a trade for ace starting pitcher Cole Hamels? That is the question posed by Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
You’d have to think that Hamels is the most untouchable of all, but one baseball executive suggested it would be the fastest way for the Phillies to restructure their roster with younger players should Amaro decide to be a seller at the trade deadline.
Hamels’ debut this season was delayed by injuries, but he has been outstanding in his 12 starts. In 81.2 innings of work he is 2-4 with a 2.76 ERA (2.80 FIP) and a 9.3 K/9 mark. There are not many true aces in baseball, but Hamels is as close to an ace as there could be on the trade market, including the aforementioned Price.
If the Phillies make him available, it will give them a chance to actually rebuild and shake up a trade market that is full of buyers.