Reports: Phillies Willing To Talk About Trading Cole Hamels And Cliff Lee

Update 12:10 PM EST: It doesn’t look like the Phillies will be moving Lee or Hamels

 Original Article

News that the Phillies were looking to trade Domonic Brown at the MLB winter meetings yesterday, really made me question what direction Ruben Amaro is trying to take the Phillies in. This might be even more confusing on that front.


Wait, I thought one of the biggest reasons that Amaro said that Phillies chose to give Carlos Ruiz a ridiculous extension, was because he had a good relationship with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels? I thought the Phillies still thought they were going to compete in 2014?

CBS Sports Jon Heyman not only confirmed Olney’s report, but he added in another important detail about the Phillies willingness to take on any of the salary still owed to either of the two.


Hamels is still owed nearly $113 million through 2018, making the idea of trading him, getting a good return, and not having to eat any of his salary, virtually impossible. He also has a 2019 vesting option that isn’t unreachable, and a limited no-trade clause.

2014 22,500,000 1,000,000 - 23,500,000
2015 22,500,000 1,000,000 - 23,500,000
2016 22,500,000 1,000,000 - 23,500,000
2017 22,500,000 1,000,000 - 23,500,000
2018 22,500,000 1,000,000 - 23,500,000
2019 20,000,000 - - 20,000,000
2020 FA
  • 2019 Option includes $6 million buyout
  • 2019 option guaranteed if Hamels 1) has 400 IP in 2017-18, including 200 IP in 2018, and 2) is not on the disabled list with a shoulder or elbow injury at the end of the 2018 season
  • limited no-trade protection

Lee on the other hand, may have a high annual salary, but the 35 year-old only has two years left on his deal, making a trade a bit more manageable.

2014 25,000,000 - - 25,000,000
2015 25,000,000 - - 25,000,000
2016 27,500,000 - - 27,500,000
2017 FA
  • The 2016 option comes with a $12.5 million buyout.
  • Limited no-trade protection
  • $50k for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All-Star Selection, LCS MVP
  • $100k for WS MVP, CY Young
  • award bonuses: $50,000 each for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All-Star, LCS MVP; $0.1M for WS MVP; $0.1M for Cy Young ($75,000 for 2nd in vote, $50,000 for 3rd)
  • option becomes guaranteed if Lee 1) is not on the disabled list at end of 2015 season with injury to left elbow or left shoulder, and 2) has 200 IP in 2015 or 400 IP in 2014-15

The limited no-trade clause could be a hurdle in attempting to trade Lee, but he has made it clear that he wants to play for a contender, whether that is in Philadelphia or somewhere else. I think if the Phillies were able to move Lee to a team like the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers, Cardinals, or Dodgers, he would be willing to waive his partial no-trade clause.

I’m not saying that I’m not in favor of the Phillies trading Lee or Hamels massive contracts, because I am. I love both players, but the idea of two guys making almost a combined $50 on a team that hasn’t had a winning record either of the last two seasons, doesn’t make much sense.

Still, by signing 36-year old Marlon Byrd and re-signing soon-to-be 35 year-old Carlos Ruiz, didn’t you send the message that you were still trying to compete next season? You aren’t going to be able to trade Lee, Hamels, or Brown and be a contender next season. Chances are, you won’t be a contender with them either. But if you are trying to be a contender (which it looks like Ruben Amaro is), then trading any of these three makes zero sense.

Tags: Cliff Lee Cole Hamels Philadelphia Phillies

comments powered by Disqus