Phillies scouting Red Sox farm system with Cole Hamels deal in mind


Cole Hamels isn’t Clayton Kershaw or Adam Wainwright, but in 2014, he has pitched like a pitcher in the tier just below the two, posting a 2.72 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and notching 125 strikeouts, despite missing a big chunk of April.

What makes Hamels such an intriguing trade candidate, besides the fact that he is pitching well for a really bad team, is that he’s only 30 years-old, and looks to have longevity because he doesn’t rely on a high-90s fastball. Sure he’s owed $96 million over the next four years (technically five because the extra six million comes from a 2019 buyout), but where are you going to find a significantly cheaper option of the caliber that Hamels is pitching now? Whether you think Hamels will keep pitching at the level he has this season is another story, but for the time being, he is pitching pretty close to the level that he is being paid to.

Despite the fact that the Red Sox are 47-55, and nine games out of the AL East, they don’t seem hesitant to at least explore the idea of trying to add someone like Hamels who could help them maybe try to get them back in the playoff race this year, but more realistically, help them return to serious contention next year.

It is worth noting that Stark tweeted that just a couple hours after saying this on Hamels’ availability.

"Is he out there or not? Well, it isn’t quite accurate to say he’s “not available,” because the Phillies have told several teams what it would take to get him. But they’ve all come away believing the Phillies asked for a package no one would possibly give up. “They’re not trying to trade him,” said one exec. “They’re trying to see if they can get overwhelmed to trade him.” And there’s no indication that’s going to happen."

Last weekend, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the asking price for Hamels is the organizations’ three top prospects and for them to take on his entire contract. It’s more than fair for teams to balk at that price, despite the level Hamels is pitching at.

Still, I think the fact that the Red Sox still seem to be interested in Hamels, shows one of two things. Either they are considering meeting the Phillies’ requests, or they feel that the Phillies may ultimately be willing to lower that price a bit.

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Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola reflects on impact Cole Hamels had on him
Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola reflects on impact Cole Hamels had on him /

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  • Honestly, focusing on the specifics when trade talks appear to be at an exploratory phase, or maybe just a bit more, is silly. But,  I do think that it’s unlikely the Phillies would look to have the Red Sox include Will Middlebrooks or Xander Bogaerts in any trade. The Phillies have next to no long-term depth, but they happen to have some at both third-base and shortstop. Frankly, I’m slightly turned off by the lack of major-league consistent success both have had, and that could be said for Jackie Bradley Jr. as well.

    The type of names that could be in play, if such a trade were to take place, would be Henry Owens (a frontline lefthanded pitcher currently in Double-A), Allen Webster (a pitcher who is hovering between Triple-A and the majors, but doesn’t blow anyone away) and potentially, Blake Swihart (a Double-A catcher who looks like he could have a really nice career). Other names like Garin Cecchini could also be in play, but again this is nothing more than speculation at this point.

    After looking thoroughly through the Red Sox system, I don’t think they are going to overwhelm the Phillies in any trade offers enough for them to move Hamels, or even seriously consider it. I don’t think they have the ammo to do that, even if they wanted.