Yesterday evening, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that Cole Hamels was one of two Phillies claimed on waivers, joining Marlon Byrd. Because National League teams have the first shot to claim Hamels on waivers, and he is under contract for four more seasons, it was always a possibility that a bad National League team that was looking to make a splash would put in a claim on the 30 year-old ace. According to 97.5 the Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli, that’s exactly what has happened.
My info sez the CUBS put in the waiver claim on Cole Hamels. Would the Phils trade him there now and would Cole accept?
— Mike Missanelli (@MikeMiss975) August 7, 2014
It is worth noting, Missanelli is a radio host, not an insider. Working in Philly for various media outlets over the course of a few decades has undoubtedly landed Missanelli some sources, but they likely aren’t as reliable as the ones that are informing Rosenthal and other members of the media who are strictly insiders.
All that said, it makes sense. The Cubs just landed a boatload of prospects for Jeff Samardzija, and already had some pretty impressive prospects in Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. I’m not sure they have the necessary pitching prospects that Ruben Amaro would like to see in a return for Hamels, but they certainly have enough formidable prospects to at least discuss a trade.
The Cubs, we believe, claimed Hamels Wednesday, so they have until 48 hours of when that claim was made, to try to agree to a deal for Hamels. They certainly would be able to take on the $96 million remaining on his deal after this year, which makes it at least possible the two sides seriously discuss this.
The Cubs are blocked on Hamels’ partial no-trade clause, and it’s hard to get a vibe on whether he would veto a trade to the Cubs. They appear to be a team on the rise, and are in a big market, but they only have 48 wins this season. Accepting a trade to Chicago would be putting a lot of trust in Theo Epstein and the Cubs’ management, in hopes that they continue to build a World Title caliber team. Doing that is a risk, but probably less of one than putting trust in Ruben Amaro.
In all likelyhood, the Phillies will ask for a too much for Hamels, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and he will remain a Phillie for at least the remainder of the season. But, if the Cubs did claim Hamels, because of the fact that they are a big market team that appears to have a much brighter future than the Phillies, it isn’t a lock that something doesn’t happen.
Update 3:08 PM EST: It turns out that Hamels doesn’t have the Cubs blocked on his no-trade clause.
More fodder for the Hamels-to-Cubs rumors: Sources say Cubs ARE on his approved trade list. Turns out Red Sox are NOT on that list
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 7, 2014
Update 4:01 PM EST: I can’t tell if this is a confirmation or not, there’s nothing quite like Jon Heyman’s Twitter prowess, but it certainly isn’t a denial.
Can’t blame cubs for putting in claim on hamels, as reported by Mike Mis in philly. Worth a shot, even if it’s a long shot — Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 7, 2014
Update 5:18 PM EST: According to CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, an MLB official ‘put in no uncertain terms’ that Hamels will not be traded to the Cubs now. Mooney left the door open for the off-season, but with free-agents like Jon Lester on the market, the idea of taking on a big deal and moving prospects, seems unlikely to me.
Update 9:00 PM EST: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times echoed Mooney’s statements earlier this evening, meaning that Hamels trade talks are likely to be tabled until the off-season. I’m sure by then, assuming he still has his job, Ruben Amaro will have himself convinced the Hamels can put the Phillies back on a parade float within the next two years, and that they don’t need to trade him.
Update 2:26 PM August 8th: This puts a close on things.
Cole Hamels pulled back from waivers. Cubs gave it a shot but couldn’t agree on deal.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) August 8, 2014