It is unlikely that the Philadelphia Phillies will trade Cole Hamels. In the flurry of moves and possible moves that will presumably come out of Philadelphia in the next month and beyond, a trade involving Hamels would be the real blockbuster.
Unlikely, but it certainly isn’t impossible. And if general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and the rest of the front office are finally willing to admit that a full commitment to rebuilding is required, then trading Hamels becomes a more enticing option.
The Phillies do not need to trade Hamels in the sense that his contract isn’t up for another four years (and about $90 million worth). But it is just that fact, that they don’t need to move him, that might net them a bigger return for him in a deal. That’s what Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports points out:
On the other hand, Amaro said that because Hamels is under contract for four years and $90 million after this season, he has “great value to long-term teams and short-teams . . . the interest in him is much broader.”
Translation: The Phillies will listen on him, if they aren’t listening already.
A couple of factors will hurt the market for Hamels. First of all, the Phillies are notoriously finicky trade partners; even if it seems impossible to ask for too much in return for a legit ace, Amaro just might be the guy to do it. Second of all, there are multiple buy-low options that would cost trade suitors far less in terms of prospects, guys like Jason Hammel on the Cubs and Brandon McCarthy on the Diamondbacks.
The Phillies will likely keep Hamels. But what if a team like the Dodgers or the Red Sox calls and makes a big offer, intrigued by the fact that Hamels is already under contract for a few years as opposed to a guy like David Price who will require a big extension? That leaves this window open and certainly adds intrigue to the trade market over the next month or so.