Of all the players who could potentially change teams as part of a waiver trade, none stands to impact this season’s playoff race more than Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels.
The odds of him being moved this August, however, are quite slim. The Phillies are asking for an exorbitantly high price for him, mostly because they do not necessarily need to trade him.
Yes, the Phillies need to rebuild, and yes, they could use the financial flexibility that would come in such a deal, but a lucrative television package means that they do not have a pressing need to shed salary.
If they trade Hamels, the primary motivation will be (or should be) the need to stock up on young talent and start the rebuilding process. If the Phillies are going to pursue that course, it is unlikely to happen in August.
According to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, the Phillies are more likely to get serious about trading Hamels this winter:
The Phillies could be much more active in August than they were in July, as they’d be wise to rid themselves of as many cumbersome contracts as possible….But Hamels is their best bet for an impact prospect haul, and the hunch is that they’ll be more open to exploring that market in the winter.
Castrovince then notes the Red Sox and the Dodgers, like every reporter and writer to ever discuss a Hamels trade, as the teams most likely to make a move.
That’s not to take a shot at Castrovince, but rather to note that if the Phillies go this route, their number of potential trade partners will be pretty limited. It makes sense, then, that the Phillies prefer to look at deals this winter when teams have more roster flexibility.