Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels can block trades to 20 teams, including a mix of clubs from both the American and National Leagues, according to Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The no-trade clause originates from the six-year, $144 million contract that Hamels signed with Philadelphia two years ago.
While Hamels can block trades to the majority of MLB teams, Morosi and Rosenthal list the nine teams that are free to acquire him: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres.
Beyond those nine teams, Hamels cannot be traded without his consent, and given that he still has four years remaining on his deal, he has a lot of reasons to care about where he goes. Several of the teams he approves are located near where he grew up in Southern California.
Hamels, 30, continues to be one of the better pitchers in the National League during his ninth year in Philly. Over 15 starts, he’s posted a 2.87 ERA with 101 strikeouts and 35 walks in 100.1 innings. If things don’t change significantly before the end of September, this will be Hamels’ fourth season with an ERA below 3.10 in the past five years.
The Phillies currently sit in last place in the National League East with a 38-51 record. While it’s hard to imagine what kind of return would convince the team to deal its best pitcher, particularly in a market stifled by Hamels’ no-trade clause, don’t be surprised if offers are entertained.