After another less-than-spirited defeat, this time at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, the temporary ‘cease-fire’ that is the rumor mill in regards to the Phillies and their plans for the trade deadline was lifted. With one of their potentially available starting pitchers, Cliff Lee, having turned in a deflating outing in an eventual loss to San Francisco, more news came in regards to another southpaw involved in various trade rumors over the last few weeks.
When it comes to Cole Hamels, one can actually imagine the predicament that the Phillies front office faces when it comes to deciding whether or not to trade him. On one hand, at just 30 years old and seemingly in the prime of his career, Hamels could probably bring the type of return that would inject serious top-end talent into a farm system lacking such. On the other hand, given his stature within the organization and the fact that he is still a top-of-the rotation performer, moving Hamels would be signify the proverbial ‘white flag’ being waved by the franchise for the foreseeable future. Though it may just be posturing to try to have teams increase their offer, ESPN’s Buster Olney shed some serious light on what the team’s intentions are when it comes to their franchise player.
To date, Phillies telling other teams Cole Hamels is not available.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2014
Mostly because I do not trust Ruben Amaro Jr. to garner the type of return that a player of Hamels’ stature would yield under a competent general manager, I do not have much of a problem with the team holding onto their most valuable asset. This is the same organization that moved front-end starters like Curt Schilling and Cliff Lee in their prime and received laughable compensation in return. Until the franchise brings in a general manager with the capability and foresight to construct a winning team from the ground up, moving Hamels would possibly set the Phillies back even further if they did not get a king’s ransom in return. This isn’t to say a desperate team (Seattle, Detroit, maybe even Baltimore) might blow the Phillies away with an offer they could not refuse. For now, sticking to their guns on Hamels and accepting anything less than a overpayment is the way to go, in my opinion.