Last night may have been Cole Hamels’s final game in a Phillies uniform after a 10 year stint with the team. If so, he certainly went out with a bang finishing with the 13th no-hitter in Phillies history last night in a 5-0 win over the Cubs.
“It’s something where you just go out there and enjoy the moment,” Hamels said. “What I want is to be successful at it. I enjoyed the moment and this happened.”
There have been a lot of rumors spinning around for over a year now. Hamels is a hot commodity and there are a lot of teams looking for a shot. The Phillies have been said to be asking to much in return but the good news for them is that after the no-no last night, “Momentum [is] building toward Hamels trade. Offers have improved since no-hitter. Teams asking for less money, offering better players” This according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported that the Rangers, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Giants are making the hardest pushes for Hamels. The Red Sox have been in and out of trade talks for over a year now and according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, they are still a contender. Rosenthal also reported earlier this week that the Dodgers and Cubs are also in negotiations.
What do these teams have to offer?
Rangers: The Rangers have a history of trading for top players right at the trade deadline such as they did with Cliff Lee in 2010 and Matt Garza in 2013. Joey Gallo is an obvious name that comes to mind and lets face it, it won’t happen. Being only in the line up for nearly two months now, they will look to see he can do in the future.
Martín Pérez is an interesting name as well. The 24-year-old pitcher is returning this season form Tommy John’s surgery. He has only two starts this season as retuning from the injury so he is a little unproven this season as to what he will be able to do post-surgery. In his first full season however, Pérez went 10-6 in 20 starts with an ERA of 3.62. The Phillies are in no way shape or form in a win now situation so they would have time to put Pérez in the rotation and let him develop into a solid starter.
Yankees: The Yankees’ interest is more than just an organization performing its due diligence according to Todd Zolecki. We all know the Yankees are willing to dish out the money needed to get what they want and Hamels may be the piece to help them contend this year and continue for years to come as their biggest problem this year is pitching, although sitting 5.5 games ahead of Toronto. The Yankees have some great prospects they have been acquiring recently including lefty pitcher Jacob Lindgren and major league second baseman Rob Refsnyder.
Dodgers: The Dodgers are very interesting dealer to me as Kershaw, Grienke, Hamels is such an incentive to get this done. The Dodgers were interested before but when the Phillies asked for six prospects, the Dodgers laughed and walked away. Currently they are asking for a package around Corey Seager and Julio Urias.
A name that is interesting is Grant Holmes who is currently on the mound for Dodgers class A affiliate at Great Lakes and is ranked the third best prospect in the Dodgers system. Drafted 22nd in 2014, Holmes has posted a 2.75 ERA in 75.1 innings pitched this season with 94 strike-outs. He reportedly his 100 MPH in high school but now works in the 90s with a deal of movement on the ball.
Cubs: The Cubs are the most interesting team in the mix looking at how deep the Cubs system is and how appealing a rotation with Lester, Hamels, and Arrieta is. The first player the Phillies will likely target is CJ Edwards. Edwards was part of the deal when the Cubs traded away Matt Garza to Texas a few years ago and is close to Major League ready. The Righty is on the mound in AAA Iowa right now after starting the season in AA Tennessee. He is currently the #1 prospect in the Cubs system.
Albert Almora is just coming off representing the United States in the Pan Am games. Playing outfield for AA Tennessee, Almora is a big player in the Cubs system. He is hitting .243/.289/.352 with 3 HR, 4 SB for the Tennessee Smokies and in 247 at-bats Almora has struck out just 29 times with only 16 walk! His contact hitting approach and a great center field glove sounds a lot like Shane Victorino.
Finally, 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Duane Underwood. The former second rounder in 2012, Had a bad outing on June 26th where he gave up 6 ER in 1 inning pitched where he later was put on the DL the next day and an MRI showed nothing but inflammation. This season with Myrtle Beach, Underwood has a 2.66 ERA, a 1.85 ERA before June 26th. 42 strike outs while walking 20 in 64.1 innings this season. Underwood would be a great complementary player in a packager formed around a bigger prospect.
If there is going to be a trade for Hamels now, I would be hard pressed to find a better team to do business with then the Cubs.
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