Phillies found a dark-horse suitor for Phillies found a dark-horse suitor for

Phillies Rumors: Giants ‘Making Strong Push’ for Cole Hamels

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Have the Phillies found a dark-horse suitor for Cole Hamels?

Cole Hamels might have gotten shelled when he pitched against the San Francisco Giants earlier this month, but that hasn’t stopped the defending World Series from joining the sweepstakes to land the former World Series MVP.

Via Joel Sherman of the New York Post

"The Giants are trying to fortify themselves even more to make a run. They are looking for a starter who would go in Game 2 of a playoff series behind ace Madison Bumgarner. They are among the clubs that has shown interest in Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels. Remember: The Giants were in the bidding until the end on Jon Lester this past offseason, so they are one of the few in the majors that can afford to take on a big salary.However, the Giants are not viewed as a team blessed with a deep farm system, and so far they have not felt anything is close in trade talks, according to major league sources. For example, one club with a top starter to move asked San Francisco for shortstop Lucius Fox. The Giants spent more than $10 million earlier this month in salary and tax penalties to sign the 18-year-old from the Bahamas. They are not about to turn around and trade him."

Sherman is one of many to at least connect Hamels to the Giants over the past week. While the Giants appear to be making a more serious push to land another front-of-the-line arm, this isn’t the first time they’ve reportedly made contact with the Phillies on Hamels. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier this season that the Giants checked in on Hamels after failing to lure Jon Lester last off-season.

The issue with the Giants’ interest, as both Sherman and Rosenthal pointed out, is that it’s hard to imagine their farm system matching up with what the Phillies desire in terms of a return for Hamels.

The most that the Giants could hope to realistically do in this case is to stay in the sweepstakes long enough to force their divisional rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to grow impatient enough to decide they can’t wait on the Phillies to decide on Hamels and instead elect to acquire a lesser-talented pitcher. This would make it easier for them to keep pace with the Dodgers in the NL West and also more likely they could beat the Dodgers if the two happened to meet up in a playoff series.

Update — After having been reported as one of the more outlying teams potentially in the mix for Cole Hamels, the San Francisco Giants appear to be making a surge. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the defending World Series champions are increasing their efforts to find a top-end, number two option to settle in behind Madison Bumgarner for now and years to come.

Later Tuesday morning, CSN Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reiterated his initial report that the Texas Rangers are the top contender to land Hamels’ services.

The Giants don’t appear to boast the same caliber of prospect pool as some of the other teams reportedly interested in Cole Hamels. It would be interesting to see what type of return the Phillies could land should they take that route.

Next: Phillies Rumors: Rangers 'separating Themselves' in Cole Hamels Trade Talks'

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