Phils Not Looking To Move Hamels, Prefer To Deal Lee

10:25am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Phillies’ preference is to deal Cliff Lee rather than Hamels, though his current injury complicates that matter. Those familiar with the team feel that Lee would prioritize a winning team over remaining in Philadelphia, and that he would therefore be more likely to waive his no-trade clause. The same cannot be said for Hamels at this time, whose preference is to remain in Philly, Heyman writes.

Lee should be able to make at least two, if not three starts prior to July 31 after he is activated from the disabled list. That’s not a huge sample, but it should be enough time for him to prove his health, to an extent.

8:33am: While some recent rumors have circulated regarding the Red Sox and Cole Hamels, the Phillies aren’t currently inclined to deal him, a Major League source tells Rob Bradford of The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber suggests a similar notion (Twitter links). A source tells him that while the Sox are open to adding front-line starting pitching as insurance in case they cannot retain Jon Lester, there’s nothing in the works with Hamels, and acquiring him is more of a concept than a reality at this point.

Recently, it was reported that Hamels could block trades to 20 teams. The nine teams to which Hamels cannot block a trade are the Dodgers, Angels, Cardinals, Nationals, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Padres. Bradford writes that the Red Sox are believed to have checked in on Hamels earlier this season, but the two sides haven’t engaged in any recent trade discussions.

Hamels’ availability — or lack thereof — will be a defining point on this summer’s trade market. The 30-year-old is owed $90MM through 2018 — a reasonable sum in today’s market given his track record of excellence — and his contract contains a $20MM club option that can vest at $24MM if Hamels is healthy and throws 200 innings in 2018 (or 400 innings from 2017-18). Should he be made available in the next 13 days, Hamels would join David Price (and perhaps teammate Cliff Lee, depending on his health) as one of the most desirable arms on the open market.

162 Responses to Phils Not Looking To Move Hamels, Prefer To Deal Lee Leave a Reply

  1. stl_cards16 1 year ago

    Of course Amaro isn’t looking to trade Hamels, he still has value.

    • IZZONE 1 year ago

      Yeah he could probably bring back Owens, Webster, JBJ and another solid prospect. Also giving them more flexibility.

      • Sox wouldn’t give up all three.

        • IZZONE 1 year ago

          Ok I just made that up I’m not a fan of either team sorry i just woke up and I was trying to say he could bring back a young SP or two and an OF. I was also thinking JBJ, while young and having lots of potential does not have much value because of his limited success in the Majors.

          • He has plenty of value because of his Gold Glove defense. JBJ might not be the headliner for a blockbuster, but he’s not a thrown in either.

          • IZZONE 1 year ago

            Ok yea that makes sense.

          • PWNdroia 1 year ago

            His offense (JBJ’s) has raised considerably over the last month and he’s still gold glove caliber on defense.

      • Abhi 1 year ago

        Instead of giving up on all the prospects – why dont just resign Lester who is proven in AL East and Play offs unlike Hamels.

        • Hamels isn’t proven in the playoffs?

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            You are right he was big part of their championship – so just AL East. My point still holds I think.

          • Jared 1 year ago

            He was the World Series MVP in 2008…

          • Thisguy... 1 year ago

            And NLCS MVP….

          • No, it really doesn’t. Hamels is a proven ace.

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            OK but why pay him and give up on all prospects instead of just paying Lester. I hope all these are negotiation tactics with Lester – hopefully works better than the lowball offer they gave him.

          • Lester could be quite pricey. Personally, I’d rather have Hamels on the Sox.

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            We agree to disagree. I would try to swing the prospects and get the right handed power bat they desperately need.

          • Where is this right handed power bat coming from?

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            Allen Craig!!! Haha. Yes, I’m kidding.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            Why kidding? I think that Craig could be perfect for Fenway Park and the Red Sox. Is Peavy enough? If not, how much more would the Red Sox have to add to the deal? JBJ?Doubront?

          • chicothekid 1 year ago

            I’m not sure what the Cardinals are looking for, but I DO know it’s not another OF unless he is REALLY good. They are already overloaded with OF prospects in AAA and have a hard time finding room for Taveras. JBJ has no appeal to them.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            How about Doubront and Peavy for Craig?

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            Not sure may be Stanton may be somewhere else, They have the prospects to get anyone. I will not waste it on Hamels.

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            Somehow I knew this would be the answer.

          • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

            I am embarrassed to be a Red Sox fan. Please know we don’t all think we’re going to magically get Stanton.

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            You dont think they have pieces to trade for Stanton? Just asking. I dont think it will happen – but it is not impossible either,

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            They would need to give up at least their top 3 prospects before the Marlins would think about it.

          • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

            No, we have the pieces, it’s just I don’t think the Marlins are going to move him, and I think he’s an obsession for Red Sox fans. Most of them think all we’ll have to do is get Stanton and then everything will be fine. Why exactly do we think we’re entitled to Stanton? The Marlins have repeatedly stated they’re not moving him. If there’s anything they can do to keep him they will. We need to move onto other more likely ways to help this team. It just reeks of large market entitlement.

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            Yes – the Marlins have said that because he is their only fan attraction ( whatever fans they still have). But I think they will have to trade him as he will become too expensive in arbitration.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            I think that it is far more likely that the Marlins trade Stanton than extend him.

          • chicothekid 1 year ago

            Marlins will be unable to sign Stanton. He knows exactly what that franchise is all about now and is fed up with it down in Miami. He wants out and the sooner the better.

            The best thing he could do for himself and future team would be to pick his destination and demand a trade there now. It would lower his asking price from the Marlins, so it would be closer to the Johan Santana trade than the Bartolo Colon trade from the Expos. This would make his new team, that much better off, and hurt the Marlins that much more. He’d still get paid and karma would serve Loria appropriately.

            Will that happen? Probably not, but that’s what I would do if I was in his shoes.

          • cjr45 1 year ago

            You do know the Marlins do not have to trade Stanton to a certain team just because he demands it right?

          • chicothekid 1 year ago

            If he lets it be known that he will NOT sign an extension with ANY team but the one HE wants to go to, then suddenly, he controls where he gets traded. Since the Marlins are obviously not that team, they have to decide when is the best time to trade him, because it’s either that, or lose him for the draft pick. Thus, he CAN force a trade under some circumstances.

            The ONE reason this would not work, is if the Marlins have decided it’s time to load up and go for broke. They will want Stanton to be part of that run and will not trade him before that time. IF they have decided they want to take their shot next season and that they are okay trading Stanton with only one year left on his contract, THEN he still cannot force a trade. If they don’t feel like they are ready for next year though, he CAN effectively force his trade now, just by running his mouth.

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            Meh. Every team has fans like that. There’s plenty of Cardinal fans that are ready to package Descalso and Holliday for Stanton.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            And the phillies have Amaro, who thinks we can still contend.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            What do the Marlins need? I would think that the Red Sox have enough to get him.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            The Marlins need an awesome player who makes fans come to games, and does so for next to no cost to Loria’s art budget.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            I like Hamels a lot and 4 years 90 million plus a 5th year option sounds a lot better than the more than 5 125 plus 6th year option Lester is said to be looking for. However, I’d rather Pay Lester more money and keep the prospects then trade prospects for Hamels.

            One really interesting idea would be to trade Lester for a contender say the Mariners for a package around Paxton and then trade for Hamels.

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            I will be OK if this is a 3 team deal between Sox Mariners and Phillies as long as Sox do not give any valuable prospects.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Hamels value is a probably a little higher then Lester so I’d imagine the Red Sox would have to thrown in an extra SP prospect at least. The hard part is knowing what the Mariners would give up and what the Phillies would want.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            Phillies will most likely want 3-4 good prospects at least, seeing as we have very, very few of those.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Would they want SP prospects, power prospects, outfield prospects, IF prospects, or a catching prospect tho. Like what would their priority be?

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Phillies would need a big-league-ready SP prospect, most likely. If they lose Hamels (and also trade Lee, and/or Burnett {who also could retire}), then their starting rotation literally begins and ends with David Buchanan – their #6 pitcher this year.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            But if they trade Hamels why would they want to compete right away?

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            It has less to do with being competitive and more to do with not being a joke. The MLB-ready SP doesn’t have to project as high as Hamels already is, but they need somebody to plug in there. It doesn’t work if you’ve got a #1 and then four #5s (or maybe even just five #5s) for a whole year – you don’t get enough ticket revenues that way.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            True. We also drafted Nola, who is projected to be the first 2014 draftee in the majors, so by then we’d have a decent rotation. Probably bottom 5 in the league, but not horrible.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            I wouldn’t expect to see Nola before mid/late-2015 (if no major injuries and we none of our starters post 6.00 ERAs over a month+). A September call-up is what I’d probably be most comfortable with.

            He just hasn’t had enough time to stretch his arm out yet. College starters go once a week, while MLB starters need to go every 5 days, and that alone will rack up the innings.

          • Guest 1 year ago

            I wouldn’t expect to see Nola in the rotation regularly before late 2015 at the earliest. He just doesn’t have the stamina built up yet – he’s still getting accustomed to going every 5 days instead of 7.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Lester to the Mariners for Paxton plus Nick Franklin plus another prospect or 2. Then Paxton plus Franklin, plus that third and maybe 4th prospect + Allen Webster plus a Bryce Brentz type.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            I wouldn’t necessarily be against that, but why would the Mariners want to go through the Red Sox for that? Unless we figure they want a half-season rental to keep cost certainty going forward?

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            I feel like Paxton, Franklin, and another prospect or 2 wouldn’t be enough for Hamels. Maybe Walker, Franklin, and another prospect but I don’t see the Mariners wanting to include Walker or anything more then the package above for Lester.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Not sure. M’s fans (EOTOTP) seem to think that Paxton is pretty well untouchable, at least.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Thing is Paxton will be 26 this year and is on pace to miss almost all of 2014 with an arm injury and I’m pretty sure accrued service time. Couple with the fact that he wasn’t even a top 50 MLB prospect have a hard time seeing him being untouchable as much as I like him.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            I don’t disagree, but if the fans are parroting the FO line here (not sure if they are or not – I don’t know the M’s well enough), that doesn’t necessarily matter.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Not sure. M’s fans (EOTOTP) seem to think that Paxton is pretty well untouchable, at least.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            Outfield, maybe Starting pitching

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Not sure if the Red Sox have the OF prospects the Phillies would be looking for but they definitely have enough SP prospects to deal from.

          • IZZONE 1 year ago

            So you want to get a better pitcher without giving up a good prospect. So what’s your package? Carp and Nava and Drew?

          • Abhi 1 year ago

            Lester > Hamels IMO.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            So the Phillies get the Mariners Prospects, the red docs get Hamels, and the Mariners get Lester to go along with the King.
            Interesting indeed.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Lester is from the Seatle area as well so maybe they have a good chance of signing him to an extension. King Felix, Lester, and Iwakuma would be frightening in the playoffs.

          • Percussion32 1 year ago

            But the thing is, why wouldn’t the phillies just trade Hamels to the mariners for prospects? Unless the mariners want Lester more, the Red Sox aren’t needed in this trade.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Well I think the idea would be the Mariners would have to give up higher quality prospects or 1 or 2 more prospects for Hamels then Lester while if they trade for Lester then the Red Sox could take that package add one or 2 of their guys and get Hamels.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

            I like both. I think that what Hamels is getting is fair and what Lester is asking for is fair. I would take both on the Yankees in a nanosecond.

        • CH 1 year ago

          wasnt Hamels a world series MVP

        • Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

          I would want both Hamels and Lester and Lee too. I know that neither Amaro nor Cashman would go down this road, but to get Hamels, I would be willing to take on the contracts of Howard, Lee, and Papelbon in return for Carlos Beltran (offset for Howard), David Robertson, and six prospects to be negotiated. Fair deal for both sides?

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Nope. Not unless the Yankees were also eating the entirety of the Beltran contract. Hamels is worth a lot more than just freeing up $10MM/year for 2 years, and Papelbon – while overpaid – isn’t that overpaid. Also, unless Lee never recovers from his first arm injury, he’s not someone you trade for pure salary relief.

          • chicothekid 1 year ago

            That is by far, the most interesting idea I’ve heard yet. That would shed the Phillies of much of their dead weight on the books and begin their rebuild quite a bit faster. I think the Phillies would be nuts, NOT to sign up for that deal, because they could flip Robertson for more prospects and then hold a full fledged fire sale.

            From the Yanks POV, it’s just money and is very similar to the Sox/Dodgers deal. That deal seems to have worked out quite well for both sides. As a Mets fan, I hope this does not happen. I like Philly where they are right now.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Robertson won’t get you a whole lot, considering he’s an FA at season’s end.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Robertson won’t get you a whole lot, considering he’s an FA at season’s end.

  2. So Byrd won’t go to Seattle unless they give him his option, Utley and Rollins don’t want to leave, Papelbon is expensive, and Lee isn’t back. How can Amaro rebuild if he won’t rebuild?

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

      Someone else will do it for him?
      Maybe, Ruly Carpenter? =P

  3. CH 1 year ago

    i count 8 teams listed, are the last 2 a mystery?

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      Well one would be the Phillies, so we’re missing one team.

      • NotCanon 1 year ago

        I would think the Mets or Marlins.They’re both in-division, one of them would never pay his salary, and the other is the Mets (who also might never pay his salary).

        Edit: Nevermind, then.

    • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

      The other is the Rangers – it’s listed in the linked, older article from here.

    • CH 1 year ago

      i find it hard to believe that the contract states that he cannot be traded from the phillies to the phillies, missing 1 team still

      • NotCanon 1 year ago

        It doesn’t state that. That there are only 29 potential trade candidates is implied in all NTC debates.

    • Steve Adams 1 year ago

      I believe the solution to your mystery is that I’ve yet to have any caffeine today. I accidentally skipped the Rangers when writing the list, and of course the Phillies needn’t be included. Nine teams, all listed now. Sorry for the confusion.

  4. phillyupperdecker 1 year ago

    No, our most valuable player isn’t available…unless you up your offer is what Amaro means.

  5. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    Odd bargaining strategy. I think the Red Sox are deliberately trying to blow this so they don’t have to give Lester a contract. And although you may be more comfortable with the remaining years on Hamels’ contract it started out as a similar to the contract that is going to be required to retain Lester. So pay the man who has been instrumental in winning you two Championships, that you don’t have to give up any prospects for, that has had one trip to the DL in his entire career; for cancer. Lester’s a very good pitcher that has proven his ability to pitch in this division. Is he a top ten pitcher, no. But is he in that second tier absolutely.

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      While I don’t necessarily disagree, the fact is that Hamels’ contract will end before Lester’s next one will – and is likely at least slightly cheaper on the AAV side of things. Those alone are reasons he might be more appealing at this point.

      Hamels, too, has really only missed significant time once in the last 7 years (missed this April with tendonitis/soreness), and they’re the same age.

  6. Phillyfan425 1 year ago

    Hamels is the one Phillies player with a guaranteed contract (i.e. not in pre-arb or arb) that has the greatest likelihood of still being a very productive player in 4-5 years. I think the best thing to do would be trade what you “need to” (Cliff, AJ, Byrd, Papelbon, etc), and then you re-evaluate your franchise in 2 year. If you still think you are 2+ years away, you trade him then. Heck, by that point, $22 M a season could be a bargain for a top 20 starting pitcher.

  7. Budyzer 1 year ago

    Why would the last place Red Sox trade for any pitching ! Even with a Lester side plot who the can resign after the season , they are not making the playoffs and wasting prospects now in a very expensive market makes zero sense

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      In this case, because Hamels is locked up through 2018, with an option for 2019. They can regain competitive form at their leisure for 3+ years and still have him in the rotation.

  8. cyberboo 1 year ago

    Terrific trade suggestion, Hamels to the Jays for Gose, Drabek, and Nolin. It worked for Halladay, so why not return the favour to the Phillies. lol. The Jays then trade Sanchez, pompey and Stinson to the Sox for Lester and they instantly go 62-0 the rest of the way and win the world series, since they are adding 40 million in salary and everyone knows that money wins games, not the talent on the field. lol (sarcasm)

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      I’d actually take the 2014 equivalents of the prospects the Phillies gave up for Doc, (plus a few other pieces, since Hamels is younger and locked up for longer). Assuming the Jays ate a majority of the salary, anyway.

  9. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Lee is older, injured and more expensive…. of course the Phillies would rather trade him.

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      It’s his first major injury since… Ever, really? And it’s not like it’s surgery-required major. More expensive to the tune of $2.5MM/year, but his contract also ends much sooner, so fewer overall dollars cost.

      He’s also been better than Hamels pretty much every year since ’07.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Having the first arm injury of your career is not something teams take lightly. Also despite having more years remaining Cole’s contract will end after his age 34 or 35 season, a team trading for Lee would be trading for his age 36 and 37 seasons.

        • NotCanon 1 year ago

          Oh, there are definitely good reasons to prefer Hamels over Lee. However, Lee’s style of pitching, coupled with his sustained success and overall lower cost, would probably make him more appealing to “go for it now” type teams (Mariners come to mind, as do the Orioles, actually), and Amaro would probably have an easier time convincing ownership to send along extra money as well (making him more palatable to smaller-payroll teams).

          Assuming Lee’s healthy, and pitches roughly in line with his 3-year average (he was doing so prior to his ugly 5/7 start), that gives you a roughly 135-140 ERA+ player who tosses over 200 IP/year and maintains one of the lowest BB rates in history.

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            Another Lee to Seattle trade…that would be fun.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Maybe Amaro asks for a premium in exchange for what he left on the table last time? Or perhaps he says “look how well it worked out for you before!”

          • cyberboo 1 year ago

            I wouldn’t say his walk rate is one of the lowest in history. Most pitchers walked 10 guys in 500 innings pitched a year. Bob Gibson walked 9 batters in 532 innings each year. Ferguson Jenkins would throw 500 innings each season and he holds the record for most games in a row without walking a batter. If he walked a hitter, it was a fluke or the umpire was blind. lol. In today’s game of throwers, not pitchers, if a pitcher doesn’t walk at least 3 guys a game, it is considered a good outing.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Have you checked your numbers? Because BBR indicates Gibson topped out at 314 IP in his heaviest season, and a grand total of one season with a BB/9 under 2.0. Much higher than Cliff Lee.

            Fergie Jenkins topped out at 325 IP in a year, and in his prime (’70-’78) averaged 1.6 BB/9. Also higher than Cliff Lee (since 2008, when he had a stint in the minors, he has a 1.3 BB/9).

          • Ted 1 year ago

            If you list the lowest career BB/9 among pitchers with 2000 innings since 1945, much of the top is very recent pitchers. Cliff Lee is 11th on that list at 1.94, right in between David Wells and Roy Halladay. Ferguson Jenkins is 15th, and Gibson isn’t even close (3.1 BB/9).

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            And part of the reason for that is because it includes Lee’s mediocre and terrible years from 2003-2007. Much like Halladay, he only really became a great pitcher after being demoted to the minors.

  10. Christopher Velez 1 year ago

    What, as a Phils fan, I would expect from moving Hamels would be a headlining prospect who’s a high-upside guy in the low-to-mid-minors who’s turning heads this year (e.g. Owens or Swihart) with a grab-bag of two or three MLB- or near-MLB-ready guys whose stock is down for various reasons (e.g. JBJ, Cecchini, Webster).

    So something like Owens, JBJ, Cecchini, and Barnes. (Or Swihart, JBJ, Webster, and Barnes is one chooses Swihart over Owens.) It’s a steep price, especially considering that Hamels has got sizable out-standing salary obligations, but that’s how the game is played with top-of-the-rotation starters in their primes. Which is why Hamels won’t be moved: The amount of shouting from Red Sox fans over their version of the Hunter Pence trade would be audible in Philadelphia proper.

  11. Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

    Nothing will go down with Lee or Hamels. As always, I’m certain that Amaro is asking for the whole farm AND requiring teams to pay the entirety of either contract. He always asks too much, and no team is going to fall for it. If he wants a good return on prospects, then he needs to eat most of the $$.

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      Isn’t the primary complaint about Amaro that he doesn’t get enough for his trades?

      Also, how would we know how much Amaro is actually asking for?

      • Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

        No, I don’t know what he’s asking for right now. I’m going off past rumors of his asking prices of his such as this: link to

        “The price for Lee is extremely high, hears Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. “He’s telling people it’ll take you three or four best prospects, plus you’d have to take all the money,” one executive said of Amaro. Another quipped, “You’d have to give up your first born, second and third born, too.””

        • chicothekid 1 year ago

          I HOPE he sticks to his guns because I don’t want any of the Phillies trading places for awhile, but it seems to me that the Orioles would be a great landing spot for Lee right now. They have been very hesitant, and rightly so, about giving up any major prospects, they can find the budget to add Lee if they can boost attendance a little with the excitement his addition would create, and the ALE is there for the taking right now. They could give up a minimal package and eat the entire salary, and finally have a legitimate ace on that staff to carry them into the playoffs.

          From the O’s POV, that sounds like a pretty good deal. Thank heavens that Amaro is too stubborn to realize a good deal when he sees it.

          • Gersh
            Gersh 1 year ago

            Phillies don’t need a salary dump, they need prospects. I don’t see getting “minimal” prospects a good deal.

        • NotCanon 1 year ago

          Yeah, I don’t know how much I’d trust a “rival executive” on that. Especially considering that was a full year ago, when there was another year on his deal, and he was having a 2.86 ERA season to that time (minus his last “stiff neck” start on July 21st).

          He’s only got 2 years left, and there’s really not even the vaguest whisper of a hope that this team can be competitive next year as it’s currently constructed (there was last year, even if it was a false whisper).

        • NotCanon 1 year ago

          Yeah, I don’t know how much I’d trust a “rival executive” on that. Especially considering that was a full year ago, when there was another year on his deal, and he was having a 2.86 ERA season to that time (minus his last “stiff neck” start on July 21st).

          He’s only got 2 years left, and there’s really not even the vaguest whisper of a hope that this team can be competitive next year as it’s currently constructed (there was last year, even if it was a false whisper).

      • Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

        No, I don’t know what he’s asking for right now. I’m going off past rumors of his asking prices of his such as this:
        “The price for Lee is extremely high, hears Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. “He’s telling people it’ll take you three or four best prospects, plus you’d have to take all the money,” one executive said of Amaro. Another quipped, “You’d have to give up your first born, second and third born, too.””

  12. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 1 year ago

    Let’s see…..Hamels is younger, he’s signed long term, he was signed, drafted, and developed by the Phillies. Yeah, I can see reasons they want to keep him.

    Lee is older, more expensive, and at the moment, hurt. The market for Hamels would be strong-remember he’s shown himself capable on the big stage too. But, if you are the Phillies, you still have to field a team, even when you’re rebuilding, and that includes a pitching staff. I just don’t see the Phillies pulling a complete Astros style rebuild. There going to keep a few of the favorites-Hamels, Utley, and maybe Ruiz.

  13. Jonathan T. 1 year ago

    The only way I see the phillies getting any good return on an injured Lee is if Amaro eats most of the contract. 2015 $25M 2016 $27.5M/$12.5 buyout. That is how Amaro works. By giving ridiculous contracts so that they can’t be moved.

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      You realize that Lee’s contract is actually below market-value, yes? He was good for 16.3 WAR from 2011-2013. During that time, the average cost/win (among FAs) was $6.8MM. His $25MM/year salary averaged a cost of $4.6MM/win.

      • craig 1 year ago

        Lee is old and injured…those risk factors greatly lessen what the Phillies can get for him. They could probably get a B prospect + a throw-in if the team agreed to take all of Lee’s salary.

        • NotCanon 1 year ago

          It’s Lee’s first injury, and nobody’s trading for him until they see if he’s healthy. As Flyerzfan indicated, the Phillies would be beyond dumb to trade him before he’s reestablished his value unless they got blown away by the offer even now.

        • NotCanon 1 year ago

          Lee was “old” when he signed his contract. He’s still outperformed a premium-cost deal with above-premium value.

        • Max Power 1 year ago

          He’s always been very durable and will soon get a chance to prove that again. If he’s not, he won’t be moved. If he is, the health “questions” are invalid. He also has a lot less wear and tear on his arm then a typical 35-year old since he established himself so late.

    • flyerzfan12
      flyerzfan12 1 year ago

      The Phillies would never trade an “injured” Lee. They would wait for him to hopefully get healthy, let him prove himself, then trade him if the right deal comes up. If for some reason he ends up injured again or ineffective, they’re stuck with him. But no way do they just trade an injured Lee for nothing while eating his contract.

  14. Jack Cox 1 year ago

    If I was Amaro I would have declared a fire sale a long time ago. The Phillies are a poorly run organization that traded away a lot of it’s young talent and now has nothing to show for it.

    • NotCanon 1 year ago

      I won’t argue that the team hasn’t been bad the past couple of years, but I think 5 consecutive division titles, a WS championship, a couple of WS appearances, 3 straight years with the most wins in baseball and a franchise record in wins counts as more than “nothing.”

  15. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    Crazy idea:

    Cliff Lee for Justin Verlander. Both sides take a high stakes gamble.

    1. Tigers use money saved to sign Scherzer. Lee would be on the hook at a high salary for 2015 and possibly 2016 (depending on vesting).
    2. Verlander needs the NL now (much like aging hitters need DH, he needs to pitch to pitchers).
    3. He is on track to be a solid #2 for the rest of his career if he can just get used to his lower velocity and lose his “MPG arrogance”. The back end of his contract would be a similar burden as Lee’s burden right now.

  16. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    Lee for Verlander. I will hang up and listen.

  17. Fangaffes 1 year ago

    Offering a geezer like Lee would restrict possible trade partners to those who need to “win now”. The Red Sox, for example, wouldn’t be interested because they’re mainly looking to the future.

  18. driftcat28 1 year ago

    No question the Yankees NEED to get Lee. They should just take on all of his remaining contract without giving up any good prospects.

    • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

      Phillies don’t need a salary dump – they need prospects in return.

      • Scott Berlin 1 year ago

        What kind of return do you expect from a 35 year old pitcher owed 50 million coming off an injury?

        • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

          It depends on his health. I don’t think he gets moved before the July deadline. I think he’ll get moved in August. It will give teams time to see that he’s healthy. He’s still Cliff Lee (a top 10 pitcher – arguably top 5). People are acting like he’s fallen off some cliff (no pun intended).

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Even if they do move him on the 31st, there’s time for 3 starts before then. If he pitches to his usual level (we’ll even say this season, so around a 3.00 ERA) for those three starts, he’ll probably be considered healthy.

          • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

            They’ve already announced he’s not pitching till Monday (the 22nd), so he won’t get 3 starts in by the 31st. He’ll only have 2.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Ah, missed that. Well then he’d probably have to dazzle in his first two starts (probably at least one CGSO) in order to prove he’s back.

          • NotCanon 1 year ago

            Ah, missed that. Well then he’d probably have to dazzle in his first two starts (probably at least one CGSO) in order to prove he’s back.

          • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

            They’ve already announced he’s not pitching till Monday (the 22nd), so he won’t get 3 starts in by the 31st. He’ll only have 2.

  19. Derpy 1 year ago

    It blows my mind that the Yankees and Phillies aren’t in full sell mode. Blow up these monstrosities, rebuild now, compete in 3 years. Trying to keep up this nonsense will only prolong the pain. Sell, get top prospects, get top draft picks, line up your dudes to all reach the majors between 2017 and 2018. Holding out for some miracle is a terrible decision.

    • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

      The problem is, nobody wants to give away top prospects. And even if you get top prospects, they aren’t a guarantee at success (neither are draftees). It’s not as simple as you suggest – and they still have to keep in mind the fans (the ones who come to the games, and put money in the teams’ pockets). Astros have gone full rebuild – from top to bottom. They are banking on their team being great in 2 years – to get back all those fans that the lost while they had 3 straight 100 loss seasons.

      • snowbladerp14 1 year ago

        yea but id rather take the risk on young talented guy with a lot of upside than take risk on old aging inrjury prone vets returning to form

      • Derpy 1 year ago

        Yankees eat all the money from Ellsbury and teams will jump to land him. Players can wave their no trade clause. These are self appointed expert businessmen, use those skills to get the players to wave the trade clause, move them to a team in contention, and enjoy your new top prospects. Dangling these high end free agents for pennies on the dollar to small market teams who are tasting a post season run will absolutely get them to give away their prospects. Especially with these longer term contracts. Furthermore, the Yankees, for instance, would be out from most of the money they owe by the time prospects are ready for the big leagues, and they will have a ton of money to spend to supplement them with things like bench players, relievers, and pitching depth.

    • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

      The Yankees fans wouldn’t tolerate a full rebuild. And their main issue is they aren’t getting the performances they expected from the large contracts they gave out. There really isn’t a good way to turn that kind of player into a good return. They were however very active in the international market which may yield results, but not for 4 or 5 years. They will have to spend again in the offseason to make it work next year. Probably at least one quality starting pitcher and a bat.

      • bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

        Their main issue is the $2500 Blue Seats. Rebuild = No blue seat sales.

        • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

          I’m going to stop looking at those seats on tv and marveling about how comfy they look. That’s way too much money for that level of comfort.

  20. Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

    It would be nice to see the Mariners get Lee along with a bat like Rios or Zobrist or even both. I dont think that Lee would be willing to go back to Seattle but maybe since they are in a wild card spot. Lee would be a cheaper option over Price also.

  21. James F 1 year ago

    Is Cliff Lee still worth a planet to Amaro?

    • Max Power 1 year ago

      Considering he traded him for peanuts on the first go-around, I’m not sure where you’re coming from.

      • James F 1 year ago

        Last year, the Phillies wanted 3-4 top prospects from the Red Sox for Cliff Lee which included Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Also for the Sox to take on his whole salary.

        • Max Power 1 year ago

          And even if that’s true (and it’s all rumors) those 2 guys haven’t shown much in their first real ML season and the Phillies weren’t looking to rebuild. It would have required an overpayment to move a guy they (stupidly) planned to keep to help them win.

  22. PWNdroia 1 year ago

    I think he could be moved before Price. If so, my bet is he goes to the Angels.

  23. GameMusic3 1 year ago

    As a Dodgers fan I would far prefer to acquire Lee instead of Hamels considering the price involved.

    If healthy, Lee is arguably a better pitcher, and while he has a big injury risk, the Dodgers rotation is pretty deep and we would only need him as a #4 or insurance against another pitcher.

  24. Eric Lord 1 year ago

    Lee isn’t willing to go to any contender. There are places he would veto, like the Yankees. He has said he prefers the NL because he likes to bat. I think his preferred destination would be St. Louis. They’re a contender & St. Louis is closer to his Arkansas home. As for Hamels, I understand why Amaro would be unwilling to move him. Aces are hard to come by and you need to have someone to build your staff around. Trading Hamels for pitching prospects in A ball isn’t going to work in Philadelphia. They would have to be completely blown away and some of the prospects would have to be close to major league ready. Hamels likes it in Philly & he is entrenched in the community with charity work.

  25. NotCanon 1 year ago

    I could see that argument flying if Hamels had only been pitching for 3-4 years, or if he’d been known to have serious trouble against ALE teams, but he’s hardly an “unknown” at this point. I can understand not wanting to spend prospects, but those are never sure things, whereas a 7-year deal on a 30-year-old that costs $25MM/year is guaranteed to cost you about $70MM more – and possibly not net you much more in value on the field.

    Additionally, the difference in hitters between AL and NL is somewhat exaggerated. In ’08, the AL’s average OPS was .011 points higher than the NL. .024 in 2009, .011 in 2010, .020 in 2011, .013 in 2012 and .021 in 2013. Factoring in the DH for the pitcher, one would think that’d be much higher. He’s also accustomed to pitching in a hitter-friendly stadium (something that applies to 3-4 ALE parks).

  26. chicothekid 1 year ago

    “They’re always trying to get something their way cheaper.” Interesting take on the Red Sox. They can’t seem to do that with ticket prices.

  27. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    Hamels in inter-league play 7-13 with a 4.52 ERA. 0-2 against the Orioles with a 6.23 ERA. 0-1 against the Yankees with a 2.77 ERA. 0-2 with a 6.97 against Toronto. 0-1 with a 4.22 against Tampa Bay.

  28. NotCanon 1 year ago

    So in other words, in a combined ~60 innings, he was good, mediocre, and bad over the course of 7 seasons. Not counting his WS numbers of course (2.77 ERA vs. Rays in 13 IP, 10.38 ERA vs. Yankees in 4.1 IP).

    Incidentally, Lester’s ERA vs.:
    Orioles: 2.78
    Yankees: 3.78
    Rays: 4.12
    Blue Jays: 3.82

  29. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    No in a combined 28 games he’s 7-13 with a 4.52 ERA. That’s almost an entire season. I notice you omitted the win loss there on Lester. You will also notice if you check that Lester’s record in the playoffs is 6-4. Granted Hamels is 7-4 but Lester has a 2.11 ERA whereas Hamels has a 3.09. I don’t want to argue who is the better pitcher here. They are pretty evenly matched. Although I still give Lester the edge in the post season. The point is Lester has a proven track record for success in the AL East and Hamels does not. He may be traded here and do fantastic, but why take that chance AND give up three prospects. Just to save yourself two years on a contract? That’s ridiculous.

  30. NotCanon 1 year ago

    Yes, I did omit the win/loss, because W/L is a terrible metric for evaluating pitcher success. It depends more on the hitters than the pitcher (because a pitcher can throw 15 straight perfect innings, but still lose by giving up an unearned run in the 16th if his own team doesn’t score), and in the AL the pitcher doesn’t even hit.

    You take the chance because 3 prospects are likely worth far less than $50-$70MM. The prospect flame-out rate is so high that you could make the argument that trading prospects for established stars is – as a rule – always the right move to make (so long as they’re not already in decline). There will be exceptions, certainly, but that’s just the way of things. Especially if that extra money comes during a pitcher’s age 36-37 seasons.

  31. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    You wouldn’t save that money, because you’d have to use it to find another starting pitcher for the two years after Hamels is gone. Sure you wouldn’t pay it to Hamels but it isn’t saving it, it’s just not paying it to him. And who knows how much it will cost yearly for pitching at that point? And if only one of those players pans out it’s too much to pay to replace something almost identical. Particularly when you have a known vs an unknown quantity.

  32. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    You wouldn’t save that money, because you’d have to use it to find another starting pitcher for the two years after Hamels is gone. Sure you wouldn’t pay it to Hamels but it isn’t saving it, it’s just not paying it to him. And who knows how much it will cost yearly for pitching at that point? And if only one of those players pans out it’s too much to pay to replace something almost identical. Particularly when you have a known vs an unknown quantity.

  33. NotCanon 1 year ago

    That only applies if Lester is still an ace pitcher in his age 36/37 seasons, which is far from a guarantee. The opportunity cost of a prospect is, generally speaking, less than the value cost of an established star. Unless we’re talking Trout, Strasburg or Harper, the odds of failure are significantly greater than the 66% that would indicate one of those players even makes it to the major leagues consistently, much less is worth as much as the star while there.

    Also, again, the whole “unknown vs. known quantity” idea is overblown. Yes, he hasn’t had a ton of games against the ALE, but he’s been – on the whole – great against all of baseball. He’s not going to suddenly do worse against the ALE when given the same sample size. They have almost identical ERA+ (123 for Cole, 122 for Jon) over almost identical IP (1388 vs. 1361) in an almost identical number of starts (209 vs. 213) since the start of 2008. Both have similar velocities, both are lefties, and both use most of the same pitches (Hamels has a better changeup, Lester has a better sinker).

  34. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    No it’s funny how that works. Highest ticket prices in the game while simultaneously refusing to pay their players.

  35. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    Please look at his interleague numbers again and repeat the phrase “great against all of baseball.”

    And then say that the 28 game sample size is too small.

    And then say that it’s a sure thing that Hamels would have had similar numbers if he had spent his entire career in the American League.

    You can’t know for sure because the numbers in those games certainly point towards a pitcher who is overmatched in the AL.

    I will take what I know every time. I can’t say what Lester will do in his age 36 or 37 season, but there is no way I would guarantee those years. Vesting option for 36 would be as far as I was willing to go. If you make Lester a 5 year offer with a 6th year option and he moves on, there’s no reason not to trade for Hamels in the offseason. But he’s a backup plan, not plan A.

  36. NotCanon 1 year ago

    You mean 28 games over 9 years? A fairly random 28-game sample out of 260 games? 175 IP out of 1704 IP? Yes. I would definitely sign up to say “too small a sample size.”

    He’s had 2 starts against the Orioles (in different years). He gave up 7 ER in 5 IP in one, and 2 ER in 8 IP in the other. He’s had 2 starts (in 2 different years) against the Yankees. He gave up 2 ER in 7 and 8 IP, respectively. He’s had 2 starts against the Rays (in different years). He gave up 5 ER in 3.2 IP in 2006, and went 7 clean in 2012. The one team in the ALE that’s consistently punished him are the Blue Jays, and that was a grand total of 3 games in 3 different years. Other AL teams that hurt him have been the Indians (2 bad games, one in ’07, the other last year), the Royals (1 game, last year), the Twins (1 bad game in 2012 {that he won, by the by}, 1 ok game in 2010, 1 good in 2013) and the Rangers (1 bad game in ’08).

    Saying “he’s looked overmatched in the AL” is a reach.

  37. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    No, those are the stats we have. They’re not random, they’re how he fares against American League hitters. If he has been consistent throughout his career the years in which the games are played should have nothing to do with it.

    Are you saying that wouldn’t be a red flag to you as and American League GM trading for a National League pitcher? Do you have some evidence somewhere that these stats are misleading and he is in fact good against the American League? You cannot discount evidence just because it does not back up the conclusion you have already reached.

    He is an unknown commodity that has not had sustained success against American League batters in his career. Would you argue if I said he doesn’t pitch well against the Mets? 29 game sample there 7-14 with a 4.38 ERA. How is that any different than a sample size of the American League?

  38. Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

    You cannot reject the data just because it doesn’t back up a conclusion you have already reached. We wouldn’t track it if it didn’t tell a story.

    Hamels does not have a proven track record of success against the hitters of the American League, therefore he would not be my first choice to be the Ace on the team I follow. I would still choose Lester and keep my prospects and take my chances.

  39. NotCanon 1 year ago

    Literally 10% of his games have been against the AL (regular season – as mentioned, if you count WS games his numbers look better). Lester’s got some real problems with a few NL teams like the Cubs and the DBacks. Does that mean he couldn’t do well in the NLC or NLW, or does it mean he had a couple of bad games?

    You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion of who you’d rather have. As I’ve mentioned, they’re roughly equivalent as starters (in ERA+, even, which is adjusted for various factors, including leagues), and if you can get Lester for terms that are equivalent to Hamels’ deal, then I agree that the trade isn’t necessarily a good one (unless you want two good pitchers instead of just one). However, I highly doubt you get Lester at $22.5/year for only 5 years coming off a career year (assuming he keeps this up). Meanwhile, Hamels is someone who might cost you more in the off-season than now, since he’s having a pretty fine year as well, and if the Phillies sell off a lot of other pieces then the odds of them competing again during his contract go up considerably.

  40. Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

    How about if I give the Phillies a 72hr window to sign Robertson to an extension. The six prospects that I have in mind are Nik Turley, Bryan Mitchell, Danny Burawa, Francisco Cervelli, Aaron Judge, and Zoilo Almonte.

  41. NotCanon 1 year ago

    Are teams actually allowed to have a 72-hour “mulligan” clause in their trades in the event that the player traded doesn’t want to sign a contract? If so, then it becomes more appealing… But only a little. The Phillies BP is actually pretty full of young, good/promising arms right now, including one kid (Giles) who looks like he could be their closer. As such, they probably don’t need another premium BP arm who’ll command a premium salary (say, $8-10MM/season for more than 3 years).

    It’s hard to think he’ll be as good as Robertson has been, but it’s equally hard to think that we’ll an elite closer will be one of our biggest needs in the next 2 years.

  42. Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

    Yes. Signing windows are not uncommon in baseball trades. If you Google 72-hour window, you will find many articles about such trades.

    Better for the Phillies to pay Robertson $40 for five years than Papelbon $26MM for two years.

  43. NotCanon 1 year ago

    Not sure why… The Phillies won’t need an elite closer until 2016 at the earliest anyway. More likely 2017. By that point, he’ll be 31/32, and there’s a possibility that Giles is going to be one of those also. Again, no such thing as too many great BP arms, but cost is a factor.

    Also, I don’t know that Robertson would be willing to sign for so little. Not to mention that long-term deals for relievers rarely work out well for the team.

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