The status of Philadelphia Phillies staff ace Cole Hamels has been a hot topic this off season. Hamels has lead the Phillies to a World Series Championship in 2008 and several successful seasons, but it will take many years for the Phillies to get back to their former glory. With an aging core, the Phillies have begun the rebuilding process after another disappointing year. Jimmy Rollins was the first of the aging Phillies players to get shipped out. Is Cole Hamels next?
There is one very big reason why Cole should be traded. The Phillies need to rebuild and Cole is the most coveted player on the Phillies, which would help the Phillies get younger and talented quickly. That is the bottom line. The trouble is trying to find a trade partner. The Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres and Rangers have all been rumored to be in pursuit of the Phillies ace. The troubling part for the Phillies is that up until this point they have just been rumors. The Cubs and Red Sox have pursued other pitching options and the Dodgers and Rangers seem to just be watching the situation play out. I think that there is only one team left that the Phillies will consider trading Hamels for this off season. The San Diego Padres.
The Padres have exactly what Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr wants. Young big league ready talent and top prospects. The Padres recently acquired Wil Myers, who would be the “young big league ready talent.” The Padres also have 4 of the top 100 prospects, which gives the Phillies options in figuring out a trade. A perfect situation for Amaro? I believe so. The question still remains, is Amaro’s asking price too high? We will find out shortly.
If the Phillies and Padres can not pull a Cole Hamels/Will Myers deal, then Cole will not be moved the rest of the off season. At this point in the off season teams have had time to take a long look at their roster and Hamels. At the same time Amaro wants to make sure he gets the most out of his biggest trade piece. If there isn’t a Phillies/Padres trade Amaro may wait until the mid-season trade deadline and be aggressive with a contending team that is missing a strong pitcher.