Phillies Pull Hamels Back From Waivers

1:53pm: The Phillies have pulled Hamels back off waivers after the two sides were unable to strike a deal, tweets Paul Sulivan of the Chicago Tribune.

FRIDAY, 8:43am: In an updated version of his original article, Wittenmyer writes that the Cubs may prefer to add an ace-caliber starter via free agency this winter. They’ll have multiple options to do so with Max Scherzer, James Shields and Jon Lester (whom Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer know well) hitting the open market. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears the same, reporting that the Cubs are “expected to be aggressive” on the free agent market.

THURSDAY: As many have been speculating since Cole Hamels was placed on revocable waivers, the Cubs have indeed been awarded the claim on the Philadelphia ace, Mike Missanelli of ESPN 97.5 in Philadelphia first tweeted. However, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that a deal is almost certainly not going to happen. The Phillies, according to Wittenmyer’s sources, have asked the Cubs for one of their prized young shortstops as the centerpiece to a trade. Because both Starlin Castro and Javier Baez are already on the 40-man roster and would therefore be subject to revocable waivers themselves, Addison Russell (and others) is the likely asking price, according to Wittenmyer.

The two sides will have 48.5 hours from the moment of the claim in order to work out a trade. Any 40-man roster players to change hands in a theoretical deal would also need to clear waivers. If and when the two sides decide that a deal cannot be reached, the Phillies can simply pull Hamels back off waivers. Hamels’ contract does allow him to block trades to 20 teams, but as ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier today, the Cubs are not one of those 20 clubs. So, in the unlikely event that a deal is agreed upon, Hamels would have no say in vetoing the transaction.

While the Cubs have the financial capability to assume the remaining $100MM+ on Hamels’ contract and the prospect depth to acquire nearly any available player via trade, Wittenmyer reports that the team has “no desire” to use both surpluses on a single player.

It’s certainly not outlandish for the Phillies to ask for Russell and other high-end prospects in order to part with Hamels. The Cubs, after all, acquired Russell (along with 2013 first-rounder Billy McKinney and controllable starter Dan Straily) in exchange for a year and a half of Jeff Samardzija‘s services and three months of Jason Hammel.

Clearly, Hamels has more long-term value than the combination of the two arms the Cubs sent to Oakland. While his salary is sizable, a $22.5MM annual commitment is actually below-market for a top-of-the-rotation arm, which Hamels clearly is. He’s pitched to a 2.42 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 46.9 percent ground-ball rate in 137 1/3 innings this season. He’s controlled through the 2018 season at that same $22.5MM rate, and his vesting option for the 2019 campaign comes with a $6MM buyout. However, if the Phils truly wish to shop Hamels — and there’s been little to no indication that they do — they’d likely be better suited to wait until the offseason, when all 29 other teams could bid for his services and potentially drive up the price.

For those who are unfamiliar with revocable waivers or post-July 31 trading, check out MLBTR’s primer on August trades.


484 Responses to Phillies Pull Hamels Back From Waivers Leave a Reply

  1. sflomenb 11 months ago

    Do it Ruben!!!

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Meh. No guarantee that the Cubs would even trade Russell. Plus, I’d rather have the field open (i.e. in the offseason) that way you aren’t restricted to just 1 team. The only real risk you are taking in waiting (assuming you’d trade him at all) is that he’ll get injured in the next 8-10 starts (which don’t get me wrong, I get it’s still a big risk). While that is a risk – I’m not sure it outweighs only being able to negotiate with 1 team.

      • James Davies 11 months ago

        Though to be fair the Cubs minor league system is arguably better than the combined value of many of the other club systems at this point. Maybe it’s best to deal exclusively with the best farm system on the table, I don’t know?

        On the other end I’m a Cubs fan and just don’t know why you would give up a top prospect when you can get a free agent of similar value during the offseason and keep your prospect for later deals down the road.

        • Trock 11 months ago

          My thoughts exactly. They have the money to sign possibly 2 out of Lester Scerzer and Shields. The only question is if 2 out of the 3 want to sign with Cubs, who are probably at least another year away from competing (if the prospects pan out like planned)

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Alternatively, why not get (arguably) a pitcher who’s better than the 3 “prime” FA starters this year, and guarantee it’s a shorter contract than what you’ll be forced to pay for the other guys?

          • Trock 11 months ago

            It really depends on what you have to give up for hamel. If you have to give up more then Russell (top prospect wise) why put yourself in that position? Not all of their prospects pan out and they have been waiting for the right time to unleash all of them on the major league roster. This is a few years in the making. You don’t trade 2 of your top prospects who have been part of your planned future. Not gonna happen especially if they can fill the void for needing an ace through FA not having to give up anything as long as they don’t have a QO tied to them

    • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

      He’s going to ask for too much or too little like he always does. Personally I feel RAJ waited too long to make a trade, any major league ready talent has to be exposed to trade waivers before being dealt so the return is likely to include a number of Single-A talent.

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        I don’t think he’s looking for major league talent. He did a radio interview the other day, where he openly hinted (for the first time) that he’s looking more toward 2016-2017 instead of 2015.

        • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

          Well it’s more dangerous projecting what talents are going to become when you’re dealing with guys in the lower levels of an organization. Any good return of Hamels likely evaporated by the start of the August Trade Waivers.

          I think he might’ve been able to get Arrieta/Russell and some low level A-Ball talent if he made this trade last month.

          • Trock 11 months ago

            I proposed a trade like that back when the Price trade was announced. People called me crazy but I feel as though Rays would of jumped at that trade. How do you feel?

          • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

            Hamels is under contract for a much longer time at under market value. It wouldn’t make sense for the Cubs to give up someone for Price when they’d only be getting 1 and 1/2 years out of him before he hits Free Agency.

            So, no it’s a horrible trade for someone who wouldn’t help the Cubs that much in the long run.

  2. Jimmy Fredrickson 11 months ago

    The Cubs got Cole Hamels?? Theo is the best GM in baseball!!!1

    • sflomenb 11 months ago

      No, they just claimed him. Nothing happened yet.

    • dc21892 11 months ago

      They didn’t get him and Theo isn’t a GM.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      I like how, in addition to the obvious thing that’s wrong, Theo isn’t even the GM. Poor Jed Hoyer, nobody remembers him xD

    • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

      I wonder what Cub fan’s think Jed Hoyer actually does? I’d think he gets Theo’s coffee in the morning then sleeps under his desk for the rest of the day like George Costanza.

      • RonTrauma 11 months ago

        He makes Theo’s decisions. Everyone knows that silly.

      • Tempguy 11 months ago

        He watches Moneyball on repeat and tries to figure out all of the different meanings.

      • Jason Ruthkoski 11 months ago

        Lol now that gave me a chuckle. Nicely done.

  3. KJ4realz 11 months ago

    This is the one time I’m going to applaud Ruben. Russell, if no one else, (I can understand not Bryant or Baez) should be the headline. You got him for Shark, you’re going to need to give him up to get Hamels.

    • CityCub219 11 months ago

      Do you honestly think a 31 year old+ Cole Hamels is worth a top 5/10 prospect in baseball? Yeah right lol

      • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

        James Shields at 31 was. He was also far less accomplished at the time and only signed for 2 years.

        • CityCub219 11 months ago

          Sorry. We’re not the Royals who overpay to keep a fan base happy. You’re out of your mind. And far less accomplished? Last time I knew, Shields has more career wins than Hamels, and has placed higher than him in Cy Young voting.

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            Wins and Cy Young voting?! Ok, that was funny.

          • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

            Might as well look at how many RBI’s and Gold Gloves these guys have over the years too.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Wins… seriously?

          • Bob 11 months ago

            you still holding out hope for Brett Jackson to be that MVP?

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            MVP of the local Men’s softball league.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Nah, he couldn’t win MVP if he was the only player in the league. Lol I like how you pick his name out of the bunch.

          • Bob 11 months ago

            you come back when James Shields is a world series MVP

          • TheoHoyer 11 months ago

            Please dont use wins or Cy Young voting as a metric.

            ….making us Cubs fans look bad.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Not using it as a metric. Trust me.

          • But you did.

          • TommyC 11 months ago

            What’s worse is Hamels has a higher winning % than Shields and has finished 5, 6 and 8 in Cy Young voting compared to Shields’ 3 and 11.

            Even the misleading stats don’t lean in Shields’ favor.

          • Ray Ray 11 months ago

            No you are the Cubs that hold onto prospects like Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, and many others until they become worthless. Yes there is a way to play both of your top SS prospects, but wouldn’t turning one of them into a top flight pitcher make more sense?

          • Dills 11 months ago

            Patterson, Pie, Vitters, Jackson… all pre Epstein / Hoyer I believe.

          • Ray Ray 11 months ago

            Sure that matters. It’s not like Boston ever had a major prospect bust like Lars Anderson or anything.

          • Trock 11 months ago

            I have to agree with this. Baez and Alcantara look to fill the IF with Bryant moving to the OF with Soler and someone else. If they can turn Russell plus a few other smaller pieces to land Hammels, I am all for it. If the Phillies ask for more top flight prospects (which I believe they should) I hang up the phone. Cubs need to be patient and see which of these prospects will pan out (because not all of them will) and we need them to establish the infield and OF and can hopefully fill the pitching staff with some FA.

        • gaius marius 11 months ago

          different deals are different, folks.

          Shields was a 4 WAR starter when he moved, but he was working under an extension that paid him just $9mm in 2013 and $13.5m in 2014. the going price of WAR in the market is about $6mm.

          so his work was reasonably going to be expected to be worth (4*2*6) = $48mm over those two years, while he was going to be paid just $21.5MM. that means Shields was valuable to the tune of (48-21) = $27mm to the Royals. so the Royals are obviously going to have to offer value in return, in the form of good prospects.

          Hamels, on the other hand, is a 4 WAR starter that is getting paid $22.5mm per for the next four years. that is full price — he’s getting paid everything he’s worth, and there is no, zero, nada residual value for the team.

          so ask yourself — why would anyone give value to get that player with no value? when they can just go sign Lester or Scherzer in the offseason and retain all their in-house value?

          • halflink123 11 months ago

            Exactly right-no reason to give up a top prospect for something you can replicate on the FA Market

          • TYLER 11 months ago

            lester isnt a lock…there are a ton of reports that say hes going back to Boston…Think about it, trading Shark for Hamels (assuming they want russell)….inspite of the money….i would do the deal! then if you get lester or scherzer, or shields….that would just make the Cubs pitching staff the best in the NL!!! DO IT THEO!!!!!!!

          • halflink123 11 months ago

            What? It might be the best next year or the year after, but you don’t want to have a staff full of old, expensive, long term pitching contracts. That could ruin the Cubs as easily as it could help, especially since the Cubs have Arrieta and some other great young starters

          • TYLER 11 months ago

            your right, the money we would be taking for Hamels is not a good thing! Getting Hamels…he would be the Cubs #1 starter going into 2015, he has an era this year of 2.42, our best is Travis with an era of….wait for it….5.00…either way you look at it, Hamels would be an upgrade. To the point of pitching prospects….what do we have….like 2, thats nothing to write home about.

          • zimzyma 11 months ago

            What about cost certainty and shorter commitment? Who knows what Lester or Scherzer are looking for in dollars or years, and which competitor teams are willing to meet that price – or go above that to gain an edge? And then of course are you certain that even if you pay enough, the player still wants to come to your team as an FA?

          • gaius marius 11 months ago

            i don’t know what they’re looking for, but what they’re likely to get is around $6.2mm per WAR per annum in free agency. and i think it’s going to be tough to get six years for these 30-year-olds, because everyone is watching what PED testing has done to longevity. who wants to carry a 36-year-old starter? they aren’t very good.

            Hamels, if he hits his vesting option, which he would if he’s still any good, is under contract through 35. so there’s plenty of duration risk there.

      • timpa 11 months ago

        Cole Hamels is not a power pitcher and a lefty. His fastball velo has actually ticked upward the last few seasons. His mentality on the mound is stronger as well. There’s no way a Cole Hamels early in his career could handle playing with so little run support and not get lit up.

        He’s been a top-10 pitcher in WAR accumulated this decade. He’s on pace for another 4.0+ WAR season and having one of his best statistical seasons as well.

        Domonic Brown was the #1 prospect in baseball. Just because someone is a top-5 prospect, doesn’t mean they become a top player. I don’t think Kris Bryant makes sense, but Russell? Sure. If Samardzja (far less proven and not locked up longterm) plus a guy signed as a FA in the off-season can get Russell, a 2013 first round pick and another pitcher then yea I think Hamels is worth a top-5/10 prospect.

        • CityCub219 11 months ago

          It doesn’t matter what Russell was traded for. Samardzija provides Oakland with huge value In 2014(also in 2015; FA after the season). Hamels on the other hand, doesn’t provide any value in 2014. He’s not coming from a last place team to a contender, which hurts his value on the market. Which is a closed market because your GM is a late night toker asking for way too much. There’s a reason no team got involved at the deadline for him, and now you’re seeing waiver moves made for him, which also drops value.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            How does a waiver claim drop his value? Top players get placed on revocable waivers all the time.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            It drops because you have one team involved. Not 29 like you would at the deadline or offseason. It’s okay, you overvalue your players. But you’ll counter with I over value the cubs’ prospects. Who all happen to be prettttty good; prospects or not.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Only being able to deal 1 with time doesn’t lower Hamels value at all. They can pull him back, wait 3 months and deal with the rest of the league.

          • ZStarr 11 months ago

            The rest of the League? Name 5 teams that have payroll and prospects to get a deal done? And of those 5 teams name one that would rather give in to Philly’s asking price rather than sign one of the high FA available this off season? I bet the Cubs offered the Phillies more than 26 teams could possibly offer them in the off season. Hamels will start for Philly next season and put any rebuild another season behind.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Teams with enough payroll flexibility and prospects/young players: Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Marlins, Astros, Rangers, Mets, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and possibly the Twins. That’s pretty much half the league.

            Of course teams would rather spend money than prospects, but how many front of the rotation arms are available in free agency? This off-season is extremely rare with possibly 3. Next year there might be 1 if Price isn’t extended in Detroit, maybe 2 if Greinke opts out.

          • timpa 11 months ago

            That one team involved cuts both ways though. The Cubs know this is the only chance they have to talk with the Phillies about Hamels and not have another team ‘jump in’. That opportunity will not present itself during the off-season.

            It’s sort of similar to how in the NHL some teams will give up draft picks in early June in order to get the FA rights to a player who will become a FA in July. They want to negotiate solely and try to get them signed before they hit the open market.

            You could say “Well, why bother to give up something you didn’t have to give up?” but it’s to give the chance to bypass other teams and get the player.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            I’m pretty sure the cubs aren’t worried about that. If they truly wanted him at the deadline; they woulda made a move for him. Just because they took a flyer on the waiver wire(which Theo does constantly anyway), doesn’t mean they want exclusive discussions.

          • Chris Koch 11 months ago

            Hamels can Block trades to 20 teams…So there’s only 9 teams he can be traded to not 29 this offseason.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Keyword: Can.

          • TommyC 11 months ago

            There was a report before the deadline that said a source close with the team felt he would be in favor of leaving for a contender. He could waive it.

          • Chris Koch 11 months ago

            What kind of Value does Russell provide to the Cubs team in 2014?…I don’t get it, you’re so keen to keeping Russell for his “Future” but completely ignore the FUTURE Hamels provides the Cubs Rotation? The Cubs have 0 SPs to write home about currently.
            Get Hamels for Russell..Sign Lester and Shields and tell me how good do the Cubs look in 2015? Or does Russell riding the AAA team’s bus with signing Lester/Shields sound better for 2015 to you?

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Arrieta… That is all

          • Chris Koch 11 months ago

            Before you even consider 17 Good Starts by Arrieta a defining of being a good pitcher to write home about…The Brewers had 16 Good Pitcher Starts to begin a season from Mike Fiers at 2.85ERA. Fiers hasn’t provided Milw with a Quality Start since then. When Arrieta makes it through 31 GS performing as he has, then I would take notice but Start #17 for Arrieta? 5ip 9ER may just be the beginning of the downturn/arm tire coming from him. He’s also avoided facing Milw/Pitts thus far which is coming and they are in the top 5 offenses in the NL in Runs scored….I wouldn’t be surprised if Arrieta finished with an ERA north of 4.0

          • jcov18 11 months ago

            8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 5 K, 1 BB last night….I think Fiers saw your comment…

          • Chris Koch 11 months ago

            I was happy to see that! 1st QS in 2years out of him almost to the day! Doesn’t make Fiers a quality SP. The 29other ML teams aren’t clamoring to get him for 33 Starts next season.

          • Jason Ruthkoski 11 months ago

            Arrieta and Hendricks both have looked good. Not top of the rotation good but respectable 3/4 options. The reason you keep Russell is there’s no guarantee all of these guys pan out, so you keep them all until you have a better idea of how things will shake out. Some of these guys WILL bust, you just need to hit on more than you miss to fill out a pretty darn good team.
            From a rotation perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give up your financial surplus AND farm system depth on one player. The only way a deal would get done here is if the Phillies want / need $ relief and would take a package centered around anyone not on the 40 man not named Russell (Almora / Edwards / Shwarber)?
            Since that’s likely not the asking price for the Phils, I see this as a flyer from Theo / Jed, which in the mean time keeps Hamels away from other teams in their division, and drives up his asking price if the Phils shop him this offseason. If your not going to get him, you want it to hurt for your competitors. To put simply… even though a deal was unlikely, there was no reason NOT to put in the claim.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            The problem is that no team hits on more prospects than they miss. Even for top prospects, the washout rate is above 50%.

            Meanwhile, those prospects you held onto long enough to “have a better idea of how things will shake out” will either be pieces you want to keep (not the most likely outcome) or will lose their value, and thus no longer be worth enough in trade to get you MLB-proven talent.

            Prospects are important, don’t get me wrong. However, the overvaluing of prospects by fans (and, seemingly, by some teams as well) has reached ridiculous proportions.

          • Jason Ruthkoski 11 months ago

            I’ll agree with you there the washout rate is well above 50 / 50 overall for MOST prospects BUT… as a sampling, take a look at the top 25 prospects from 2008: link to baseballamerica.com
            Some pretty big names on there. Saying most of these guys are not going to not amount to anything is pretty nuts when you look at that. Most of the top guys will at least be serviceable major leaguers, with a healthy dose of superstars sprinkled in. I don’t think it’s crazy to say a superstar level prospect is among the most valuable assets in baseball, especially when you consider what these guys get paid prior to reaching free agency vs. what they get after.

      • Chris Koch 11 months ago

        Um, Yeah 3years of Cole Hamels is worth Russell imo. Hamels is a Legit #1 SP(not an Ace like Kershaw…but a #1 nonetheless)
        Russell? You really want to protect him on your future team when you have what? 2 Other SS options? So Yaay, you get to keep Russell so he can sit on the Bench/ Play on Sunday Lineups?
        Meanwhile your Sunday Pitcher gives up 4-8ERs losing another game? If Russell is all it costs to nab Hamels the Cubs should feel so lucky!

        • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

          Russell would be a piece, but it’ll cost significantly more. Another of their top 6, probably Soler, and 2 more good prospects.

          • johansantana15 11 months ago

            No way, maybe Russell, Arodys Vizcaino, and someone like Welington Castillo or Junior Lake

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Wellington Castillo? No, he wouldn’t go anywhere either. Why would the cubs fill a void to open up another gaping hole? Makes no sense

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            1 good prospect, a reliever getting pummeled in AAA who missed the previous 2 season, a light hitting catcher and OF currently slashing .216/.243/.366 for a top 5 LHP in his prime under contract for the next 4-5 years? Not a chance.

          • johansantana15 11 months ago

            3 top 30 prospects in baseball plus 2 more good prospects for a pitcher who will be 31 next season and will be paid $22.5M for the next 4-5 years? Not a chance.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            3 top 30 prospects? Where did you get that from? Certainly wasn’t from me.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Your value of Hamels is about as ridiculous as your GMs. IF the cubs were to deal Russell or anyone for Hamels. The Phillies are gonna eat a huge chunk of the 96m owed over the rest of his contract.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            The fact that the Cubs got Russell and McKinney for 1.5 seasons of Samardzija, a lesser pitcher than Hamels, doesn’t seem to register with you.

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            The fact that I’ve already said he went to a contender trying to win now, doesn’t seem to register with you. Regardless if Oakland over paid. Stop being salty that the cubs got a steal because Billy wants to win now.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            I get that, but what you’re saying is that 1.5 seasons of Samardzija is worth more than 4-5 seasons of Hamels. How is that in any way logical?

          • Chris Koch 11 months ago

            Money. Samardzija is being paid what? 8/9mil this year? And he most definitely won’t be paid 22mil next season. Based on FA 6mi per WAR, Hamels needs to be nearly a 4WAR player every year of his contract for him to just meet the expected value of it. Say Samardija is owed 12mil next year, There’s 10mil to go be spent in FA to find 1.75WAR for the Team elsewhere.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Is there anything suggesting that Hamels won’t continue to post 4+ WAR through the life of his contract? He’s posted a 4+ WAR in 7 of 8 seasons since his rookie year and hasn’t posted a WAR under 4.6 since ’09.

            You’re saying you’d rather have a good SP underpaid for 1.5 years over a top 10-15 SP in his prime at market value for 4-5 years?

          • Will Bruce 11 months ago

            Point number 2: Billy Beane grossly overpayed for Samardzija and Hammel. Because he didn’t know that the market for TOR starters was going to open up like it did, he ended up paying a big price for two pitchers he believed would push them over the line. Don’t get me wrong, the above comments from our fans side isn’t correct either. It will take high end talent to pry him away, personally I would only feel comfortable with a deal sort of like: Almora, Edwards, Johnson, and a guy like Olt or Lake.

          • Jonathan Ley 11 months ago

            No way its Soler. Not even possible. IMO he is the Cubs best prospect, which is saying a lot, plus he is on the 40 man roster. He would not make it past one team, let alone 29 and become available to trade. I say Albert Almora, CJ Edwards, Dan Vogelbach and another decent prospect. A deal is highly unlikely, but that would be the extent of talent I would be ok with the team giving up, which is still quite a bit.

          • Will Bruce 11 months ago

            Okay, lets make something clear here. A top 6 prospect in an organization like the Cubs (Astros and Twins type too), is far more valuable than you think. Through their top 8 they have the numbers: 3, 5, 6, 36, 40, 53, 59, and 78th best prospects in all of baseball. While I value Hamels very highly he isn’t worth the number 6 overall, another top 60 guy and 2 more “good” prospects. Well at least not at his current age with his current contract he isn’t. Not saying that he’s old or overpayed, just that at that amount, I don’t see value in your proposed deal.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            The problem is that those prospects aren’t actually that valuable. Their current projected value is that high, but more than 50% of them won’t even be average MLB players for their careers. As a result, their actual value is far less.

            It’s kind of like Bitcoin – their value is only marginally tied to their actual utility, but because of speculation and relative scarcity the price increases exponentially beyond what it’s actually worth.

          • Will Bruce 11 months ago

            I know this is pretty late in response, but I do agree. Prospects are just prospects until they hit the majors and perform. My issue was just saying casually a top 6 guy, where in a farm system less plentiful that would be in their top 6 guy but in a deeper one it’s more of a 10-15 ranger

      • johansantana15 11 months ago

        Russell for Hamels straight up would be a huge steal for Chicago

      • TommyC 11 months ago

        Jeff Samardzija is only a year younger than Hamels and got Russell+. Hamels is also a better pitcher than Samardzija and controlled for twice as long.

        • Jason Ruthkoski 11 months ago

          Apples and Oranges. The A’s are/were in an arms race with the Tigers, the Cubs want to add pitching for next year / the year after etc. The A’s play in the smallest market in baseball, so Samardzija’s salary was workable, Hamels may not have been. I totally agree Hamels is the better pitcher, but there are other factors at play here.
          Two completely different situations.

          • TommyC 11 months ago

            Sure, the Cubs and A’s value prospects and cost control (respectively) moreso than other teams given their situations.

            To a team that can afford to take on a large contract and is in a position to trade prospects for immediate help, though, Hamels value is higher than Samardzija’s.

            The Phillies don’t have to trade Hamels to the Cubs. Teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers and Yankees will show interest in the offseason and the Phillies could get a better package from one of those teams more on par with his top prospect+ value.

  4. David 11 months ago

    Players on the 25-man roster cannot be PTBNLs in any trade.

  5. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    I heard RAJ is asking for Rizzo, Baez, Castro, Arrieta and Russel. RAJ is also willing to throw in Ryan Howard and the precious bag of balls he got for unloading Hunter Pence.

  6. Craig York 11 months ago

    If I’m the Cubs I’m not parting with any of the top prospects..

  7. Jon 11 months ago

    Cubs would never give up Russell. It was a mistake by Beane to give him up for Shark. He’s putting up insane numbers at AA along with gold glove D at short

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      That might be overstating the case, but this article is poor analysis. Hamels simply isn’t valuable because he’s paid so much. A team would have to be desperate to win now – like the A’s – to shed much value to get him. I doubt Beane would have shipped Russell for him. Samardzija and Hammel are controlled salaries and deliver a lot more than they cost. Baseball is a business and what players cost matters.

      • Gersh 11 months ago

        You do realize come this winter Hamels will be below market value?

        • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

          Few teams can afford Hamels regardless if he’s below market value. The Phillies could eat a chunk of salary but like people have said before, this is a business and is it really worth eating 50M of a guy’s contract for a bunch of prospects who might never provide anything close to the value of what someone like Cole Hamels will provide in one season?

          • gaius marius 11 months ago

            Yeah, maybe not. But the Phils badly need some cost controlled talent, and if they have to eat $40mm up front to take the chance of getting it they might.

          • johansantana15 11 months ago

            The Cubs can afford Hamels. Including raises for the arb-eligible players and assuming they resign their three FAs, the Cubs’ payroll for next season is looking like ~$60M. Their highest payroll ever was $144M in 2010 and last year it was $107M. Adding Hamels’ $22M takes their 2015 payroll to ~$82M, which would be their lowest since 2003.

        • rct 11 months ago

          I do not understand this assessment. He’s making $22.5MM. Unless Scherzer and Lester sign for like $50MM a season, Hamels will still be above market value next year. It’s $22.5MM. He’s like the 5th highest paid pitcher in baseball. It’s a lot of money.

          And even if it somehow becomes literally ‘below market value’, most teams still cannot afford him. ‘Below market value’ is a meaningless descriptor when attached to Cole Hamels to like 90% of teams.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Scherzer is not as good as Cole Hamels. Lester is nearly as good.

            If both sign for $25MM over 6+1 years+option, you’re paying them a minimum of about $40MM more over the life of their contracts (maximum in the $85MM range), and you’re doing so for the privilege of playing them when they’re 36 or 37, instead of finishing up with Hamels when he’s 34/35.

            “Below market value” is still important, because any team that can’t afford him also can’t afford Lester, Scherzer, Price or Shields. If the market is set in such a way that nobody can take those salaries, it isn’t somehow not the market just because it excludes them. It’s just that the market is high.

          • rct 11 months ago

            Scherzer has more WAR over the last three years than Hamels, and his FIP is better over that stretch. He strikes out way more batters than Hamels with a similar walk rate and WHIP. He’s better than Hamels, and he’s younger with 600 fewer innings on his arm. I’ll grant you that Lester isn’t as good, but Scherzer is a much better investment than Hamels over the next 5 years.

            But nevertheless, my point still stands. ‘Below market value’ isn’t a good descriptor when you’re dealing with numbers as high as Hamels because that’s not what you’re signing him (or trading for him) for. Just because some other team on the cusp gives Lester and Scherzer huge deals doesn’t magically make paying for 34 and 35 year old Hamels ‘below market’ because of the disparity of the buyer’s market. A team that can barely afford a top-tier pitcher can’t simultaneously afford to trade away their low cost assets. Nearly every team in baseball could afford to sign Lester or Scherzer if they also had contributing players at well below market value, ie prospects/pre-Arb guys. But they cannot afford a contract that size (ie Hamels’s) if they also have to trade those players away.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            You’re using a 3-year average for Scherzer that is greatly affected by a single good year, and a 3-year average for Hamels that is greatly affected by a single poor (for him) year.

            Scherzer had a very good 2013. That’s also his only very good year. It’s also the only year he’s been better than Hamels (fWAR indicates his 2011 was 0.2 points higher, but the other aggregated stats – including bWAR and WHIP and xFIP – don’t agree), and was fueled by an unsustainably low BABIP (.259). If Hamels hadn’t missed a month’s worth of starts this year their 3-year fWAR would be approximately even.

            Scherzer is literally 5 months younger than Hamels, and part of the reason he has fewer IP is because he averages fewer IP/start than Hamels (207 IP/162’s his career average, and it would be under 200 if not for 2013).

            So, no, I don’t think that Scherzer is a “much better investment than Hamels over the next 5 years.” You’re also making a fairly drastic assumption that Scherzer can be had for only a 5-year commitment.

          • rct 11 months ago

            For the record, Scherzer is 7 months younger, not 5. Personally, I don’t think that’s too much of a difference, which is why I mentioned the huge (like three season’s worth) disparity of innings. I don’t care how it got reached. Hamels has 600 more innings (like 50% more than Scherzer) on his arm. But also: over the last three years, Hamels averages 6.82 innings/start, Scherzer is at 6.38. So it’s a one out per start. Not a big difference.

            And you’re wrong about Scherzer only having one good year. Last three year FIPs: 3.27, 2.74, 3.01. Hamels: 3.30, 3.26, 2.85. Scherzer’s is better. And again: his K rate is much higher with a similar walk rate and WHIP. Also: his WAR is higher than Hamels’s this season. His BABIP has normalized after last year’s fluke and he’s still great.

            And I’m not making any assumption about getting Scherzer for 5 years. I picked 5 years because that’s essentially what’s left on Hamels’s contract. Factor in that Hamels is going to cost you several prospects in addition to his salary, and Scherzer is hands-down a better investment than Hamels.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            I realize you “don’t care how it got reached,” but that’s because you’re not paying the dude’s salary. Zach Greinke had an awe-inspiring 2009. It made his 2009-2011 numbers look quite good. That doesn’t change the fact that he had a pretty poor 2010 (100 ERA+, so literally league average), and a forgettable 2011 (103 ERA+, almost ditto).

            3-year samples are nice, but unless there’s consistency between those years it’s not a good barometer for future results. The 5-year sample shows that Scherzer is nowhere near as good as his 2013 (his WHIP alone dropped 0.330 points under the average he’d set in his first 4 years as a starter, and .304 points under his 2012). This year he’s looking good, but not great, and his FIP and xFIP are both higher than Hamels’ this year (which, as you pointed out, is due in part to his BABIP normalization).

            Scherzer’s WAR is higher this season because Hamels has 3 fewer starts, and WAR is a counting stat. Scherzer’s HR/FB is higher, his GB% is lower (as is his LoB%), his K/9 is higher but his BAA is .020 points higher, and his ERA- (which adjusts for league and park) is 15 points higher. Put Hamels in Comerica Park and he’d likely outperform Scherzer every year other than 2013 and 2009 (the only years his ERA- were higher than Scherzer’s).

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            As for the market, yes, in fact, that is exactly what it does. There are teams that cannot afford to buy players at market rate. The market is set by what teams will pay, not what the projected $$$/FA WAR value is on Fangraphs. If there are teams “willing to overpay” for Scherzer and Lester, that sets the market for near-top-flight pitching. Other top-flight pitchers will see that, and hold out for higher salary options.

            They probably won’t sign a ton of 1-year deals “to build value” either, because they risk getting nailed to QOs for the rest of their careers. If that means that only the richest teams will be able to afford top-flight FA pitchers… Well, that’s already the case, so I don’t know what you’re arguing here.

          • rct 11 months ago

            I don’t know what you’re arguing here, either. Two pitchers signing mega deals this offseason will not magically make $22.5MM pitcher Cole Hamels ‘below market value’, because, again, ‘below market value’ is an irrelevant descriptor at a price like that. For long term deals, you’re essentially paying huge money for the first few years. You know you’re overpaying. ‘Market value’ only puts you in the ballpark when the salaries are that high. Saying his contract will be ‘below market value’ in 4-5 years (which is a huge assumption; you’re assuming both that he’ll be effective and that salaries will jump to the point where $22.5MM is below what he’s actually worth) isn’t why you’d be trading for him.

      • Jon 11 months ago

        Jason Hammel? He has no control past this year. And the fact that he was a key to getting the deal done(the idea was it took one of the arms off the market) and subsequently has been so awful in Oakland, that is starting to make the deal look bad for the As. He won’t even make the post season rotation.

    • johansantana15 11 months ago

      Insane? .303/.373/.562/9HR/4SB is great but hardly insane. Kris Bryant’s numbers, on the other hand, are legitimately insane.

  8. Karkat 11 months ago

    This should give them a good excuse to talk about potential offseason trades, actually.

    • Bob 11 months ago

      Phillies are a market that could handle the Castro contract, so that could be something talked about in the Winter. But prospects will have to come with Castro.

      • Tyler 11 months ago

        Keep dreaming my dear friend. The Cubs WILL NOT part with Starlin Castro.

        • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

          Not sure the Phillies would really want Castro. He’s a nice player, but doesn’t strike me as a building block or a player who should be a centerpiece for an ace in his prime.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Not to mention that the Phillies are pretty heavy on SS prospects at this point, and Rollins will be around for at least another year (I’m thinking he nets a pillow contract after his current one too, unless he has another 2013-like season next year).

        • sflomenb 11 months ago

          I don’t want him near the Phillies

  9. Bob 11 months ago

    Phillies were pretty hot on Soler when he was coming out of Cuba. He could be the center piece. But I imagine its going to be many pieces not 1 if they do decide to move Hamels now and not in the Winter with more suitors.

  10. FOmeOLS 11 months ago

    If they don’t want to trade him, then why bother putting him on waivers in the first place?

    • Bob 11 months ago

      cause everyone is put on waivers basically

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Gauge interest in the offseason.

      And like Bob said, almost everyone goes on waivers (it’s only a “big deal” for bad teams putting good-decent players on).

    • Steve Adams 11 months ago

      Most teams put nearly their entire roster on waivers. Helps to gauge the value of certain players and helps mask those they do really want to move. They can always pull the player back, and really, what’s the harm in letting a club overwhelm you?

      I’m sure they don’t want to trade Hamels, but if the Cubs surprised everyone and offered Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and C.J. Edwards (not that they ever would), I can’t imagine the Phillies would stubbornly decline. (And yes, I know, there’s a Ruben Amaro joke to be made here — I’m just electing not to make it.)

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        Thank you, Steve, for electing not to make the RAJ joke. You’re one of the first reporters to do that – ever, anywhere.

        • Karkat 11 months ago

          Pretty sure he just made it by not making it… just like Amaro with a trade!

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            Nah, when writers make their Amaro jokes, they are much more blatant than that (see anything Heyman says about the Phillies).

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      Because Ruby is Groovy!

  11. Bob George 11 months ago

    There is no way a deal is going to be made unless the Phillies really want to dump salary. The Cubs aren’t going to deal top prospects AND take on $100 mil., at least I think they would be foolish to do so. Now if I’m the Phillies and someone just gave me the chance to dump $100+ mil in salary for seasons 31-34/35 of a pitcher, I’m very intrigued about taking the best deal I can get, even if there are not top prospects in it.

    • Gersh 11 months ago

      From the Phillies stand point you cannot give Hamels up when hes the only piece on a team that has to rebuild that is worth something.

      • Bob George 11 months ago

        Dumping salary has it’s own value too. Although this is the Phillies, and they’re rolling in TV revenue and not on a budget.

      • JoeyBats13 11 months ago

        Utley?

        • Gersh 11 months ago

          He has 10-5 rights he can’t be traded, and i mean people that are worth top prospects.

          • JoeyBats13 11 months ago

            Ahhh good to know. I think he could fetch a decent return though if he does agree to be traded.

      • sflomenb 11 months ago

        Hamels is not going to be on the team when it’s good again, he has absolutely no use here

        • Gersh 11 months ago

          So, get rid of him for nothing? Good idea!

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            I would trade ya Almora and another piece for Hamels right now. So wouldnt get nothing

          • Gersh 11 months ago

            I’m confident there will be better offers in the winter.

          • Bob 11 months ago

            im sure the Dodgers would give Joc Pederson alone for Hamels. Pederson is a much superior hitter than Almora.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            I bet they wouldnt since they wouldnt for Price who is better then Hamels

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            I’m tired of seeing this, so let’s put this fallacy to bed.

            Pitcher A:
            this year – 2.42 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 1.107 WHIP, 154 ERA+
            last 3 years – 3.11 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 1.114 WHIP, 124 ERA+
            last 5 years – 3.03 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.111 WHIP, 128 ERA +

            Pitcher B:
            this year – 3.11 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 1.043 WHIP, 123 ERA+
            last 3 years – 2.98 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 1.081 WHIP, 129 ERA+
            last 5 years – 3.04 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 1.117 WHIP, 126 ERA+

            Over the long haul, they are essentially the same pitcher. Over the last 3 years, Pitcher B has a slight edge. And this year, Pitcher A has the edge.
            I know there are other measures to use, but at this current hour, I don’t really feel like doing them. By the way, Pitcher A is Hamels, B is Price.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            The years of control were also important.

          • TommyC 11 months ago

            They could get more than that in the Winter. Cubs are a bad trade partner. Phillies need to pair up with a contender who can afford to shed top specs for an immediate impact star.

          • sflomenb 11 months ago

            Not for nothing obviously… he’s worth something so he has to be traded for something, which isn’t farfetched.

    • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

      I be willing to give up Almora and Vogelbach and take on most (not all but most) of salary for Hamels. Phillies dont get one of our top 5 guys, but Almora is still a top 50 prospect and Vogelbach is one of the best first basemen in the minors and big time bat

      • Bob 11 months ago

        Vogelbach is not an NL player

        • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

          Ok but he still is good and the Phillies dont think he can stick at first, then they can always flip him. But he’s still a good prospect.

          • Bob 11 months ago

            theres not much of a market for a player whose been deemed a DH since age 13. You think if he took anything seriously he would lose weight.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            He has lost weight

          • Bob 11 months ago

            and he still cant play first base

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            Have you ever seen him play actually?

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            I’m willing to bet he hasn’t. Vog’s is rather deceiving with his weight. He is pretty fast and flexible to be as big as he is.

          • Dakota 11 months ago

            Plus there still stands a good chance the NL makes the switch to a DH

          • Ray Ray 11 months ago

            Hopefully not.

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Actually he has lost quite a bit of weight this yea r

        • cubs7691 11 months ago

          Neither is Ryan Howard

      • Will Bruce 11 months ago

        I’d be more than comfortable with giving up Almora and Edwards as the centerpieces and adding a couple more players to the deal.

    • Bob 11 months ago

      why would they dump? They would just hold on and pay until someone deems it valuable. Hes a lefty who pitches off a 70 grade change up. Its not like investing in a power arm waiting to lose velocity.

  12. Bob George 11 months ago

    Just because someone was put on waivers and claimed doesn’t mean his team has any interest in trading him. All of this speculation could be for nothing. Most teams put virtually their entire rosters on waivers to A) hide whom they are willing to deal, and B) have more options in trade talks.

    • Dakota 11 months ago

      Yeah but maybe the fact that Philly tried trading him a few weeks ago means they have interest in trading him

    • start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      I tend to figure all this is is a chance for the Phillies to get an idea of what a team with a genuine want of Hamels will offer so they know what the general market consensus will be in the offseason.

  13. Catztradamus 11 months ago

    The waiver part is not as big a deal as you’d think. Any player the cubs want to include only has to get past Colorado and Arizona and anyone the phillies want to get through only has to get past Colorado. Not very limiting. Colorado wouldn’t claim Castro. Arizona might but not likely. Baez probably doesn’t clear though unless the phillies and cubs work out a gentlemens agreement with Arizona and Colorado.

    • Bob 11 months ago

      Ill go out on a limb and assume it wouldnt involve Baez. It more than likely would be Soler and Castro (if he snuck through)

  14. cubs7691 11 months ago

    No thank you

    • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

      Its not going to happen, but what if the Cubs could get him for Almora has the top prosepct in the deal, you still wouldn’t want to do it?

      • cubs7691 11 months ago

        Depends on what else is inside that package. If I were Jed no way I would do it unless Ruben wants to open up his pocket book.

        • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

          I give up Almora and Vogelbach for him. Both become Phillies top 6 prospects easily.

          • cubs7691 11 months ago

            Cubs eating all of the contract?

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            Most of it ya. I mean if the Cubs wanted Phillies to pay like half of it then they will have to trade someone like Russell. Just pay most of it

          • CityCub219 11 months ago

            Cubs wouldn’t take on all of his contract for Almora/Vogelbach. The Phils would have to eat a chunk bigger than JedStein does.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            In a perfect world, Cubs rather not give up anything and just take his contract. But yes Cubs are ready to spend money and if it meant not giving up Castro,Baez,Russell, or Soler, Then I eat all the contract

          • cubs7691 11 months ago

            Can we somehow include Edlose Jackson into that package?

  15. Bob 11 months ago

    im guessing Cubs fans prefer 8 years 180 million for Lester?

    • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

      haha really? you really think thats what the Cubs would offer and some other team would? wow

      • Bob 11 months ago

        hes the top LHP on the market. I suggest you go look back at the recent lhp signings and then also look at the growth of contracts given in years and money each season.

    • Jon 11 months ago

      Yes. Because he will cost no prospects

    • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

      Honestly, they could probably acquire Hamels and sign Lester, though 8/$180M is steep.

      • Bob 11 months ago

        a 5 win second baseman got 10 years 200 million last year

        • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

          Also a terrible deal.

          • Bob 11 months ago

            and the Lester deal will be terrible as will 80 percent of the deals signed this coming winter. Free Agency is not a way to build a team anymore.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Kinda depends on how it’s framed. I don’t understand why teams don’t front load deals. Pay top dollar for the prime years instead of $30M at age 40.

          • Sky14 11 months ago

            Time value of money. Better spend it later than now.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            I’d rather spend $30M for years 1-5 and $10M for years 6-8 on that proposed 8/$180M for Lester. Pay extra for those prime years and give yourself some flexibility down the road if he breaks down. Much easier to buy him out at $30M than at $70M.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Right, but a dollar in 10 years is worth less than a dollar today due to inflation and potential interest earned. Inflation isn’t hugely noticeable down at the single dollar level over such a short period, but when you’re talking tens of millions it definitely is.

            It has nothing to do with the economics of baseball talent, and everything to do with the economics of economics.

          • Sky14 11 months ago

            Well that is where the time value of money comes into play, you are losing potential money spending it now rather than later. The money not spent now has earnings potential, such as gaining interest, while you still reap the benefits of Lester(or other players). This makes $30 million on year one much more costly (loss of potential earnings) than $30 million on year 8 and why most owners would prefer back-loaded contracts.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          He also went to a team desperate to “show” they were trying to make an impact with bats (since they have the pitching).

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Fewer years, higher AAV. I’d say 6 years, $140 M is more realistic.

      • Bob 11 months ago

        He will ask for the Kershaw contract. Teams will bite just below. Too much money to be spent.

        • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

          There’s no way Lester gets that, no way. He will get 5 years for 110-120 tops

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            If he does well in the playoffs, I can see it pushing a little higher (because teams pay for playoff performance like it’s predictive).

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            True, but teams just arent giving pitchers now days (unless you are someone like Kershaw) more then 5 year deals or so

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            He’ll probably go in with comps as Hamels and Greinke (they got 7 and 6 years respectively). Most likely point toward his stellar post-season record, and the fact that he’s coming off his best season in his career. I think teams will start at 5 years, $120 M, he’ll start around 7 years, $150 M, and they’ll meet around what I said – 6 year (maybe a little under on money, I just picked a nice round number).

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            For high-end pitching they are. Greinke got 6, Hamels got 6, Cain got 8, Tanaka got 7 and Scherzer turned down 6. Verlander and Hernandez signed monster extensions as well. Scherzer and Lester will get monster deals and Shields will get a high AAV, but not as many years since he’ll be 33. Price will also get a monster deal.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          His age will play a big factor – he might get some options in there to kick it up to the level you say – but I can’t imagine anyone giving him 8 year, $180 M straight up.

      • Robbieb7 11 months ago

        Lester will get 6-7 years, same with Scherzer

  16. Blackhawk 11 months ago

    Do it, Cubs! You’ve got Castro and/or Baez at short for the next ten years. Worst-case scenario…Russell is the next Shawon Dunston.

    • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

      Sorry, not giving up any of those 3 or Bryant and Soler.

      • Blackhawk 11 months ago

        No, I meant keep Castro or Baez and give the Phillies Russell. Sorry

        • CityCub219 11 months ago

          Yeah right. Russell will force one of them to move. And one of them already has changed positions so

          • cubs7691 11 months ago

            And if that fails we can always use an outfielder. Soler, Alcantara, Russel. Until Almora arrives

        • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

          I know, I dont want to give up Russell either lol. Those 5 I mentioned are all no’s and should be with the team next season at some point

      • Ray Ray 11 months ago

        So you expect to get a top 5 LH pitcher for table scraps?

  17. Joe 11 months ago

    Wow, Ruben Amaro, the worst GM in baseball, just decided to start selling, but he sold the wrong piece! C’mon Ruben.

    • Gersh 11 months ago

      I don’t think it needs to be said in every article about the Phillies that he is the worst GM, we all already know that.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      He hasn’t sold anything (unless you are counting ole’ Rubber Toe).

      • Joe 11 months ago

        I realize now that he hasn’t traded him (yet). My understanding of a claim being awarded is that the claiming team is given the player. Kind of like how the Giants got Cody Ross in 2010.

        • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

          No, Phillies can pull him back and thats whats going to happen most likely

          • Joe 11 months ago

            Ya, the Cubbies should at least entertain an offer including one of their infielders and one of their outifielders, and then pay the whole contract so Amaro gets more money off the payroll. I don’t think anything will happen though.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          Nope. It just means the Cubs are the team that claimed him. Phillies will either work out deal (unlikely) or pull him back and not put him on waivers again this year (much, much, much more likely).

    • Tempguy 11 months ago

      If I was a Phillies fan, I would not want RAJ trading their most valuable asset.

      • timpa 11 months ago

        Ed Wade made his best trade before he got kicked out of Houston… of course that was at the expense of RAJ.

      • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

        I’m wondering if he could top the “blockbuster” of prospects it took to get 2 years worth of Hunter Pence.

        • Joe 11 months ago

          It was techinically only 1 full season, as they acquired him at the 2011 deadline and then traded him at the 2012 deadline.

          • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

            I’m talking about the trade that sent him to San Fransisco for a bag of balls.

    • Ray Ray 11 months ago

      The worst GM in baseball? I think the Dan O’Dowd/Bill Geavitt combo begs to disagree.

      • Joe 11 months ago

        No, Ruben is definitely the worst. He had no excuse not to trade Marlon Byrd, Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, and others at the deadline, even if he had to kick in some cash. For whatever reason, he brings the same old players back on terrible contracts, and signs other old players to terrible contracts as well.

        • Ray Ray 11 months ago

          Okay, but the Rockies had no excuse not to trade Jorge de la Rosa, Matt Belisle, LaTroy Hawkins, Drew Stubbs (or any of the other 6 outfielders on the big league club). They are also hoping the 41 year old Hawkins is going to be a big part of the next winning Rockies team (said publicly). They are also looking to resign Michael Cuddyer despite not needing him anywhere on the roster, now or in the future. Not to mention the fact that they passed on a free Jacob Turner claim in favor of guys like Brooks Brown and Yohan Flande. My final note, the Phillies All Star middle infielder refuses to waive his no-trade clause because he doesn’t want to leave the team, while the Rockies All Star middle infielder is basically begging for a trade to New York or any other franchise that wants to win. Your move, Ruben.

          • Joe 11 months ago

            But the Rockies have the intent to resign De La Rosa, Belisle, and Hawkins (he has an option for next season I think), and with their players already, a couple of good offseason moves could help them tremendously. The Phillies, however, aren’t a couple of moves away from competing, they are several moves. The Rockies are not.

      • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

        Hi guys I guess you don’t remember me.

        • TwitchWasHere 11 months ago

          Nah, Hendry wasn’t *good*, but still made the team better & had a pretty successful stretch from 2003-08. Since RAJ took over, the Phillies have slid from perennial contender to a tie for 6th with Table Time and Allied Biscuit.

  18. TheoHoyer 11 months ago

    ITT: I’m a Cubs fan, but most of you Cubs fan overvalue prospects and make the entire Cubs fanbase look stupid.

  19. Douglas Rau 11 months ago

    From what we’ve heard about Ruben Amaro Jr., I’m shocked he’s not asking for Castro (with the Cubs picking up ALL of his contract, of course) AND Javier Baez AND Addison Russell AND anyone else the Cubs have of value in their minor league system. If Amaro Jr. thinks Marlon Byrd is worth Aaron Judge, who will be a better player than Byrd by 2016, I can’t imagine what he’s asking for Hamels.

    • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

      Castro would have to pass through trade waivers in order to be traded, it’d be foolish demanding major league talent on the 40-man roster during the August Trade Waivers, every other GM in the league would block that trade by claiming that player.

      • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

        He’s being sarcastic lol

        • Douglas Rau 11 months ago

          Slightly but Amaro would ask for the sun, the moon and the stars.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            Ya I know, I cant believe that they didnt at least trade Byrd, Burnett, Papelbon.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Burnett and Papelbon were understandable given their contracts ($13M for Papelbon and very likely $12.75M for Burnett). Byrd is worth his contract, but that very attainable $8M option for his age 39/40 season was a major hurdle. Also didn’t help that Amaro doesn’t appear to have been a willing negotiator.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            They could have trade those guys eating some of the money but at least they get a couple good young prospects

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Agreed, but with Papelbon having a $13M option for 2016 and Burnett undecided on his future beyond this year, it’s difficult to factor in how much money to eat and what the return should be depending on how much money is eaten.

            They probably could’ve worked it, but it sounds like Ruben just wanted what he wanted and if he didn’t get it then no deal. For a guy like Hamels that makes sense, you don’t budge much on your demands for an ace with 4+ years of control. But with role players you gotta be flexible.

      • Douglas Rau 11 months ago

        I was just making a point about Amaro ridiculous demands.

        • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

          Well, he is one to make ridiculous demands. He’s also one that when forced to make a trade such as the Hunter Pence one, that’s sold on a very little return.

    • Bob 11 months ago

      I think the Cubs would love to dump the Castro contract and spend that money on pitching.

      • Tempguy 11 months ago

        The Castro contract is team friendly.

        • Bob 11 months ago

          last season he was replacement level and right now he might be a 3 win shortstop. Hes shown very little growth. With 4 players who could make the league min and play a superior short stop just sitting there, I dont consider it team friendly. When he is forced to play LF, the bat isnt going to play. Extending Castro and not trading him has been the Cubs only failure IMO since the new FO tenure.

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            I doubt he will be forced into left, were you not just saying all prospects don’t work out? Why dump a 3 WAR shortstop when he is the only proven commodity?

          • Bob 11 months ago

            as loaded as the cubs are in the farm, there is still only CJ Edwards who ranks as a top 100 prospect pitcher. Someones got to throw the ball.

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            Jake Arrieta is the only TOR arm (#2 IMO), true. We don’t lack candidates for 4-5 spots though. Makes more sense to try and acquire a #1 arm in Free Agency.

          • Bob 11 months ago

            or get Cole Hamels for 4 years for Soler and some pieces

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            If Soler, Edwards + some guys like Villanueva and Vogelbach got it done I would pull the trigger. Philly wants more than that, probably Russell+Soler+ others, which wouldn’t make sense for the Cubs at this time.

          • jb226 11 months ago

            I wouldn’t trade Soler. Guy’s a beast. I think he ends up being a better player than Baez when all is said and done.

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            Have to trade quality to get quality, Cubs need a #1 and Hamels would fill that. No guarantees we can sign Lester.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Why not add both? Lester doesn’t have compensation attached and the Cubs have plenty of financial flexibility.

          • Tempguy 11 months ago

            Oh I would definitely attempt to sign him, but there are no guarantees that he doesn’t just go back to Boston.

          • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

            Given the Red Sox philosophy of high AAV and low years I’d be surprised if Lester returned. With no compensation attach I wouldn’t be surprised to see surprise teams in on Lester like the Padres, Diamondbacks and Astros. Won’t just be the big market teams.

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Agreed

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Absolutely not. I wouldn’t trade Soler straight up for Hamels

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Johnson, Edwards, Blackburn, Hendricks. The Cubs are not as strapped for pitching as most seem to think.

          • Cubstein 11 months ago

            I recall Johnson being ranked. Tseng will likely be ranked this off season. We have Jake currently on the roster. Hendricks will fill in the back of the rotation nicely.

          • Shane Flannagan 11 months ago

            Castro isnt going anywhere and his contract is not bad at all

          • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

            I’m going to give Olt an extension and throw 78 mil on him. Don’t worry guys Jim in on this. I like this Lake kid I think I’ll extend him as well and offer Edwin another 8 years deal. He’s a solid ace type pitcher we really need.

      • Chris Adams 11 months ago

        I would say you would be absolutely wrong. The Cubs like Castro and he is on a team friendly deal. Theo has pretty much said, Castro isn’t going anywhere.

    • timpa 11 months ago

      Marlon Byrd’s an old guy who also happened to be the premium righty power bat avail (20 HR’s) in an era where power is down.

      Teams have given up valuable prospects for old players. Giants gave up Zack Wheeler for Beltran. Red Sox gave up a Jeff Bagwell at AA once upon a time for a reliever named Larry Andersen.

      Aaron Judge is a college player who’s not yet gotten above High-A. He’s also 6 foot 7 with a very long swing. Let’s see how he does against better competition moving up against AA, then AAA, and finally MLB pitchers.

      He could very well not even hit as many HR’s in his career as Byrd has so far this season.

  20. Daniel Morairity 11 months ago

    Wait ok so Hamels went to the cubs

    • Tempguy 11 months ago

      No. Phillies will pull him off waivers.

      • Daniel Morairity 11 months ago

        Oh ok I thought Hamels went the the cubs but now the phillies can get him back

        • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

          I will get this deal done. I will be trading every player in the Cubs farm for Hamels.

          • Chris Adams 11 months ago

            Hahahahaa….no

          • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

            Yes the farm isn’t worth anything to us. I going to bank roll all our money on Shields in the off season. 210 mil over 3 years sounds good on aging Shields. Soriano was a crowning achievement and that’s what I’m going to do.

          • Cubstein 11 months ago

            That really is you Hendry isn’t it.

  21. does Cole Hamels belongs to the clubs?

    • chiricky8 11 months ago

      No they just claim him they have 48.5 hrs to work out a trade with the phillies of they cant come into agreement the phillies can just pull him back out

      • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

        I’m going to trade everyone in the farm for him. Don’t worry guys we will pay Soriano money to get Lester next year.

  22. Phillies fan 11 months ago

    If Cole Hamels was a free agent today, he would get more than 4 years/$96 million

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      not much more. he’s already getting $23mm per as a 4 WAR 30-year-old pitcher. that’s about what Shields is. Shields is probably going to sign for around $23mm a year over five years.

      you can’t compare Hamels to Kershaw or King Felix, who are 6 WAR pitcher and getting paid like it — or for that matter Scherzer.

      • timpa 11 months ago

        If a team has to go $23M@5 years for Shields I’d pray for their souls.

        Shields is 2 years OLDER than Hamels and Hamels has been a more productive player. Hamels is top-10 in WAR over the last 4 seasons. Shields is around 16th I believe it was.

        The Phillies also put out there they’d put in $10M for Hamels which effectively makes the next 4 seasons be $20M a season.The last year of Hamels contract which is guaranteed will come when he’s 34 years old. If he’s healthy and doesn’t suffer an elbow or shoulder injury (which would keep his 5th year option from vesting) and pitches enough innings for it to vest that would be an age 35 season.

        A team signing Shields for 5 years will be looking at his final being age 37. (I’m not actually sure Shields would sign for 5 years, but age-wise I wouldn’t be comfortable going beyond 3 years and some team probably will)

        • gaius marius 11 months ago

          yeah, good point. Shields will have a tough time getting that 5- or 6-year deal. the standard falloff after 33 or so isn’t appealing to anyone.

  23. hoagiebuchanan 11 months ago

    Hamels for Bryant straight up!

    • Robbieb7 11 months ago

      That’s the one prospect I wouldn’t trade if I were the Cubs, Bryant is as close to a sure-thing as there is.

  24. Frank Richard 11 months ago

    Bryant is probably the Cubs only untouchable prospect at this time. Castro, Soler, Baez, Alcantara, Lake and Olt are all on the 40 man and would also have to clear waivers so those names are out. That Leaves Russell, and Almora as the only true top guys that Cubs have to use in a deal and Almora is very highly regarded in their own organization. I just don’t see the Cubs giving up the talent it would take to acquire Hamels. The Cubs could easily offer a package that could get him, but from the Cubs eyes it just isn’t worth it at this time.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      i think it’s more that Amaro has unrealistic expectations of how valuable a 4 WAR pitcher than is already being paid $23mm a season is to a team. people are not going to line up to dump prospects on the Phils that will likely generate 15+ WAR over the next six or seven years for less money that 4 WAR Hamels makes in one year.

      he may not like it, and Phillies fans may not like it, but they can’t obtain value out of thin air just because Hamels is a good pitcher. unless they deal with the Yankees.

  25. randyfastman 11 months ago

    Am I wrong here or is the whole “Cubs players who are currently on the 40 man roster would have to clear waivers” issue not as big a stumbling block as most are thinking?? Wouldn’t those players only need to get past the Rockies, Padres and D-Backs and then the Phils place a claim on them, giving them exclusive bargaining power??

    • Cubstein 11 months ago

      If they are looking for any one of our prospects, not a single team in the MLB would pass on any of the Cubs top prospects. So it would be an issue. That said. Cubs did this to see if they wanted salary relief. Anything other than a minor token, will not get this deal done.

      • stl_cards16 11 months ago

        The only prospects that would have to make it to the Phillies on waivers are those on the 40 man roster.

        • Cubstein 11 months ago

          Yes but several are already on the 40 man. Obviously Baez and Alcantara. So is Soler. But you are correct, Bryant, Almora and Russell all wouldn’t need to go through waivers.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      it’s not just that, though. that affects Soler, Alcantara and Baez. but Bryant, Russell, Almora and many others are not on the 40 man.

      the bigger problem is that Hamels is being paid everything he is worth in terms of the work he produces and the price of WAR on the open market. there’s no value there — and trades are essentially about exchanging value.

      the Cubs put in a claim in case the Phils wanted salary relief and would take low-level prospects to be rid of a $23mm paycheck for the next four years. if Amaro thinks he can fleece Epstein and Hoyer of tens of millions in value without giving any in return, he’s wrong.

      • randyfastman 11 months ago

        Yeah, I was just addressing the posts which have stated that these potential trade pieces would have to clear waivers (as in make it through all 29 teams) which is not the case, they’d only need to get to the Phillies claim spot (5th)…. but thanks for the quick lesson in WAR and its open market value..

  26. The Cubs are going to make a hard push for Lester. Theo has given minor league deals to quite a few Sox burnouts and Lester won’t require a draft pick. Theo will want to win with a former draftee as his champion.

    • bagpipes5 11 months ago

      Lester will have many suitors though and most of those teams are already contenders. Guys like Lester and Scherzer are usually not interested in teams that are rebuilding.

      • Lester has two rings and a good relationship with Theo. The Cubs can give him the money and I doubt their rebuild will go on for much longer.

  27. Jacob 11 months ago

    YES I can wait to stay up all night and wait while the cubs are a finalist for jon lester so I can see them make “a strong bid” and come in second for his services!

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      they are going to get one of Scherzer, Lester or Shields, i’ll wager.

      • Jacob 11 months ago

        I hope your right.

      • timpa 11 months ago

        Honestly I think they need to add at least two and I don’t see that happening due to money and actually getting two when so many teams will be bidding for them. I think adding two top pitchers would be easier/more likely if the Cubs take advantage of being the sole negotiating team for Hamels right now and add him.

        Now you have FA’s looking at the Cubs with a young roster with talent at some key positions and a Cole Hamels on their staff. I think that’s more likely to attract another top pitcher if the Cubs can come in with the right salary.

        • gaius marius 11 months ago

          they could if they want to — the Cubs have just $27mm committed to next year, plus maybe another $15mm in controlled arbitration guys, so there’s room for a $50mm annual spend — but i agree it’s hard to box everybody off two top guys, and do you want to eat all that flexibility up?

          not to mention, there’s something of a logjam for starting time as it is. even if they move Jackson, the rotation looks like [free agent #1], Arietta, Wood, Hendricks — and a pile of guys on the 40-man, including Wada, Straily, Beeler, Ramirez; and at least two they can’t outright in Doubront and Turner (if they get him from the Marlins, and presume Rusin will be DFA because out of options).

  28. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    In an undated version of his original article, Wittenmyer writes that the Cubs may prefer to add an ace-caliber starter via free agency this winter.
    While, this is very exciting, why did the Cubs claim him if they had no real intentions of doing anything!

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Probably to see what it cost if they don’t get one of the guys this winter. It sets up a foundation for a trade.

  29. Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

    If they don’t clear waivers can’t the Cubs just make them the PTBNL? It’s what the Dodgers did with Rubby De La Rosa as he was claimed when they tried to pass him through waivers in the 2012 trade.

  30. northsfbay 11 months ago

    The Cubs claimed Hamels in case the Phillies wanted salary relief. The Cubs plan is to stockpile Position player prospects and sign free agent starting pitchers.

  31. new coach 11 months ago

    Phils aren’t desperate to trade Hamels so if Cubs don’t want to deal prospects, there would be no deal. I’m not advocating the Phils should do this.. but if they a) trade Byrd b) trade AJ Burnett they will free up a lot of cash. They could then also pursue a Lester/Scherzer/Shields type. In 2015 it would be expensive but they would have a decent staff (Hamels/Lester/Nola (#1 pick this year)/Cliff Lee/?). and a good bullpen.

    Point is, I don’t get hubris of some fan bases to think they shouldnt trade any prospect and should get players for free. Phialdelphia isnt a small market or struggling for cash. While they have many bad deals on the books they all come off in 2 years. Hamels is not a bad deal at all. Perhaps a slight overpay but not horrendous.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      the thing is, Hamels is never going to bring a lot of prospects in return. there’s no value in his contract. the only way some can materialize is if the price of WAR in free agency skyrockets.

      when a 4 WAR pitcher gets paid $22mm per in a market that prices WAR at $6mm, there’s very little residual value left for the team even over four years (in which he will be aging and declining).

      if the price of a win jumps to $8mm next year, then he’d have three years left in which he’d have some value. maybe the Phils are best off just hanging on to Hamels and hoping against hope that that happens. or for someone to get desperate next July. or for the Yankees to help them out.

      but asking for tens of millions in value in return for a pitcher who is already priced to kill his value? that’s why the Phillies are in such a shithole as a franchise. Amaro clearly doesn’t understand the game.

  32. gaius marius 11 months ago

    In an updated version of his original article, Wittenmyer writes that the Cubs may prefer to add an ace-caliber starter via free agency this winter.

    well, yeah, obviously, if they’re going to ask for a fat prospect package with several tens of millions for a guy that already gets paid everything he’s worth in terms of WAR. the Cubs would be insane to make that move. that’s how franchises get wrecked — giving up value while getting none in return.

    unless Amaro is going to create value by eating some salary, just go get the pitching you need in free agency and retain all your in-house value. Epstein and Hoyer play the game too well to do anything less.

  33. bagpipes5 11 months ago

    The question for Chicago Cubs. Is 4+ years of Hamels at $96 M for 3 of your top prospects a better path and better value than getting involved in the Max Scherzer /Lester sweepstakes. Scherzer probably looking for $180M. Lester probably slightly less.

    There is no guarantee of the Cubs actually winning the Scherzer/Lester sweepstakes.

    • new coach 11 months ago

      cubs could get both and be fine salary wise

      • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

        I’ll give Edwin Jackson an extension of 98 mil for the next 8 years.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      i think you take Epstein at his word when he says they are going to be aggressive.

      Scherzer will take top dollar, as he’s a 5 WAR pitcher, the best guy out there not named Felix or Clayton. but Hamels is a tier below that, more similar to Lester and Shields at 4 WAR. and the Cubs are probably going to be able to get one of those two guys on five years and $125mm.

      even if you establish that WAR is going to run $6.2mm, then Hamels’ four years only represent something like $10mm of value. and who is going to give up a pile of prospects for a $10mm advantage? the Cuban unrestricted prospects are fielding $40mm+ — that’s the value a salary controlled guy like Addison Russell represents. why offer $40mm of value for a pitcher with $10mm of value? makes no sense.

      • BlueCatuli 11 months ago

        FWIW, have read in Twitterverse that the Cubs’ FO not high on Scherzer.

  34. Will Bruce 11 months ago

    I hope that everyone realizes that nothing will probably come from this, but I enjoy the debating. To all the Cubs fans here, lets just be honest. The Cubs can handle Hamels entire contract with ease, and they have a few high end guys they would be comfortable trading. The whole point of collecting so many elite hitters is that they would have the assets and depth to make a trade like this.

    • Cubstein 11 months ago

      Sure one or the other. I don’t think they’d want to take that contract on AND give up any of their elite prospects. Almost no chance a deal is made.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      that was/is some of the point, but that doesn’t mean value calculus goes out the window. If Hamels was working for $15mm the next four years, I’d say go ahead and ship Russell and CJ Edwards for him. but he’s not. he’s making $23mm, and that just eats up all his residual value to the club.

      baseball is a business. what these guys cost matters.

      • Christopher Velez 11 months ago

        Except the Phils have the ability to absorb $7.5MM/year of Hamels’ contract with ease. Hamels can be priced as necessary to get a deal done. The thing at that point is whether the return justifies the sunken monetary cost and if that can be sold to the fans.

        Addison Russell and C.J. Edwards doesn’t do that for eating a third of Hamels’ contract, and doesn’t serve the Cubs’ interests by trading away scarce SP prospects with upside. What you’re realistically looking at is Russell, Almora, and McKinney if the Phils are eating between a third and half of Hamels’ contract.

        • gaius marius 11 months ago

          i agree Amaro has to eat some salary to make value out of Hamels. the trouble is that from earlier reports his ask is just totally unreasonable — looking for salary relief AND prospect package in return. and of course he can just sit tight and do nothing.

          i don’t think the fans care about the money much as long as they get a name in return that they can hang onto, like Russell plus a couple lower level guys. but looking at what the Cuban defectors are going for — these guys are basically top 20 prospects as free agents, and they’re getting $40mm+ deals for their first six years. that’s the real value of a guy like Russell, according to the market. and so the Phils would have to eat something like $30mm of Hamels’ remaining contract to facilitate getting him in return for the value exchange to be equitable.

          for Russell, Almora, McKinney… now maybe we’re talking $30mm + $20mm + $10mm = $60mm of relief. would Amaro eat 60% of the remaining obligation to Hamels to get those kids?

      • Will Bruce 11 months ago

        Sorry, I wasn’t clear in that statement, I wouldn’t trade Russell for him at that price. As his contract is I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable giving Edwards and Almora up. However, the AAA squad and Russell are off limits in my view.

    • antsal 11 months ago

      Right. And the Phillies can handle Cole Hamels whole contract and keep him. Even with Hamels they’ll have about 40 million to spend in the offseason if they choose to. It may not be the best thing for the future of the club but they have that option. If Ruben thinks he can fill 4 or 5 spots and bring up Franco and thinks Nola isn’t far away, 40 million goes a long way in improving. There are a lot of “IF’s”, perhaps more than most teams but if Ruben thinks Hamels, Lee, Burnett, Buchanan, Pettibone and Nola are some decent starting options then he’ll run with it. There really aren’t many free agent bats available much better than what we have to replace when you consider the guaranteed money involved. Use some of that 40 million (if they would go to Philly) to lure a top 5 starting F/A pitcher and the team gets better. Their top prospect is a third basemen so signing one makes no sense. Is Nelson Cruz for twice as much money a huge upgrade over Marlon Byrd? Is Melky Cabrera a huge upgrade offensively over Ben Revere? I’m not too confident in Ruben being able to make a trade with what he has so free agency might be his only bandaid option.

  35. northsfbay 11 months ago

    HR hitters are hard to come by. The Cubs are dealing from strength. Given Hamels age and contract and the fact that there is a good chance that a pitcher will be injured at his age, the Phillies are not dealing from strength.

    • new coach 11 months ago

      Just like the Cubs are fishing trying to get Hamels for nothing, Phillies were fishing trying to get good prosepcts for him. They do not need to trade him and are trading from strength. If the trade was mandated by owners or they had to cut salary, they would be in a weaker position.

    • antsal 11 months ago

      Obviously, the Cubs want Hamels. Since the Phillies have him they are in power. They can just as easily say no thanks and keep him or trade him somewhere else in a few months. For both teams, nothing that happens in the next few hours will affect the 2014 season anyway. The only power, if any, the Cubs have is getting a deal done now because no one else can make a deal for Hamels. But that “power” is over the other teams in the major leagues, not the Phillies. Once the off season begins the Cubs will have blown their chance. For that right, they will have to “overpay” or not get Hamels. When the other top free agents sign and a few teams are left without an ace, it’s then that they will realize how little some “sure thing” prospects are worth. If the Cubs are one of those teams still looking, the offer will have to get sweetened the Phillies way, not the Cubs. The Cubs want something the Phillies don’t have to get rid of.

      • James 11 months ago

        it is a risk, but this also leaves Hamels as an option in the offseason. They may irk Amaro with the trade dicussions, but he will be long gone by the offseason, so really a no lose situation for them. if no trade happens, then it is Amaro’s fault, not theirs.

  36. GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

    If the cubs trade Russell and other pieces I’m sure the Phillies are sending money back to pay for Hamels. 30+ making over 20mill a year. Giving up cost controlled/ team controlled guys would easily cost the phillies knocking his price down to 12-14 mill a season for the cubs.

    • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

      Yeah, you’re getting Cole for $12-14 mil/year. Looks like you’re keeping your prospects and paying the market price of $25-30 mil/year if you win the bidding war.

      • James 11 months ago

        the cubs can afford that. 30m for Lester, and .5m for Baez at 3b is a better deal than Hamels at 15m and Drew/Astrubal/Hardy/Rollins at 10-15m.
        I think both pairings have simlar value in year 1, but in 1 side you have Baez for 3 years at that price, and 3 more at a deflated price. The other you are overpaying a SS well into his 30ies

        note- i doubt lester gets 30m, i think it is much lower. I also doubt the phils would eat that much of hamels contract, or that any of those ss will get 10m per year, maybe a little less, but a total committment of 25-30 for a pairing like that seems about right.

        • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

          I don’t disagree. I was simply saying the Phils won’t (and shouldn’t have to) eat that much money to trade Cole Hamels. And if they did, no way they would eat enough to make him a $12-14 mil/year SP for the acquiring team.

          I think Scherzer will get 25-30, Lester a few mil less per year than what Scherzer gets, and then Shields somewhere beneath both.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      exactly. the Phils have to create value in Hamels by eating some contract in order to get value in return. that’s how trades work, unless you’re the Yankees.

    • Steve Adams 11 months ago

      Hamels’ annual salary right now is below market for a top-of-the-rotation arm, and he’s only guaranteed money through his age-34 season. That AAV adds to his value, it doesn’t detract from it.

      Maybe Philly would kick in a few million to sweeten a deal and put it over the top, but eating 40 percent of the contract isn’t a realistic expectation, and painting his contract as a negative isn’t an accurate portrayal of his value.

      Compared to open-market prices, Hamels is a bargain on a year-to-year basis, and that below-market AAV comes with a shorter-term commitment than a six-year deal for Lester or Scherzer.

      • gaius marius 11 months ago

        that is not a bad point about his duration risk, though i think his age 35 /2019 option vests at $24mm with 200 innings pitched in 2018 and 400 IP in 2017-18.

        but i think it’s wrong to guess that the free agent market has moved too far from $6mm per WAR per annum. maybe it goes to $6.2mm — that would be typical — but that only creates a few million in value for Hamels’ contract. and he’s wrong side of 30, so you can expect performance to decline somewhat to remove that value.

        that’s just not going to carry enough water to make Hamels worth a top ten prospect — guys who carry a value of $40mm+ in the market, if the Cuban defectors are any measure — by itself.

        • James 11 months ago

          I am so happy someone else who actually gets the economics of baseball and prospects is here. Everyone here thinks i am crazy when i talk like this here. You basically laid out exactly the thought process 29 GMs go though. The crazyness of hamels in a vaccum without his contract and age is the way Amaro thinks. There is a reason Amaro is about to get fired, and that thought process is exactly the reason.

          • Robbieb7 11 months ago

            Amaro is not getting fired unfortunately

          • James 11 months ago

            he needs to do something fast to avoid the chopping block

        • Steve Adams 11 months ago

          It’s a mistake, however, to think that clubs value free agents in strict terms of WAR/$ — or that they even use the same universal versions of WAR that we have available at Fangraphs or B-Ref.

          If every club were only willing to go what they expected in terms of WAR/$, free agency would look a lot different. Competition on the free agent market drives price tags well beyond what players will justify via WAR in many cases.

          Besides, even at his current price tag, Hamels need only produce four seasons of four wins to justify the guaranteed portion of his deal, and that’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Acquiring Jon Lester or Max Scherzer is going to require guaranteeing Lester money through his age-37 season and Scherzer money through at least his age-36 season, if not his age-37 campaign.

          There’s value in limiting the guaranteed portion of the dollars to years in which it’s reasonable to expect a high, albeit diminished level of production. It’s not reasonable to expect that for the final years of free agent deals, and those seasons will still come at an annual value of $25MM+.

          You’re looking at Hamels’ contract in a vacuum, but it’s better examined in relation to the entire market, since that’s the alternative for Chicago (or any other interested team).

          Hamels is absolutely worth a Top 10 prospect, and then some, on the trade market, and the Phillies won’t move him if they don’t get something along those lines in return.

          • gaius marius 11 months ago

            the post-2014 free agent market will decide, but i don’t think it’s going to be as fearsome as all that — and not enough to drive WAR pricing so much higher as to make Hamels a steal at $23mm per. everyone has their own ideas about WAR, though, and that’s what makes the world go round — but i think the difference between what Hamels brings to the table net of his contract and what a top ten prospect does are not comparable.

  37. tenncub 11 months ago

    If they’ll take Russell for Hamels, straight up, I’d do it. The Cubs in effect would have traded Samardzija and Jason Hammel for Cole Hamels and McKinney. Sooner or later, either Castro or Russell will have to go. So, sounds like a good deal to me

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      Cubs can drive a better bargain than that. Russell for Hamels and $30mm would be doable. then go deploy that cash in free agency to help land Scherzer.

      • tenncub 11 months ago

        Don’t think they’ll go after Scherzer. He would cost them a 2nd round pick. Lester won’t.

        • gaius marius 11 months ago

          and Lester will come cheaper, though because of the compensation pick maybe a bit dearer than Shields. good point.

        • lt michaels 11 months ago

          2nd round pick And $180 M for Scherzer. If you are lucky and he chooses your team

          And I think you Cubs fans are dreaming if you think Lester is going to take a Cub discount due to Theo ties. Lester is still pretty much working off his original contract. 6/$42 M. He sees Verlander get $180 M . Kershaw $215 M.

          Lester is going to want to get paid big bucks .Thats why Boston jettisoned him.

          • gaius marius 11 months ago

            oh yeah, he’ll be full price, no question. and if you believe Cherington you’ll have to contend with the Red Sox to get him.

            but the reality is that Lester is a couple tiers below Kershaw and Felix (at the top) and then Scherzer/Verlander/Sale/Darvish/Wainwright/Lee. he’s more akin to Shields and Hamels, so he’s simply not going to command Kershaw money. reasonable expectation might be 5 years $125mm.

          • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

            I could see a lot of pitchers wanting to be a part of the WS win for the cubs. They would pretty much be legends after 107 years. They will have the lineup that will do some damage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few pitchers take discounts just to be with the lineup they will have around them. Let’s see how these kids shape up in 4 years. Cubs don’t need to go after anyone right now. My guess is Theo/Hoyer goes after a power arm in the draft next year as we will be 1-2 picks again. Let’s see what the other arms can do before we throw them away on 30 year olds.

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            You wouldn’t be surprised to see pitchers give up money to play for a team that isn’t good/hasn’t been good in a while on the chance that they could turn the franchise around? If that’s true, then you aren’t easily surprised.

          • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

            No different than Detroit or LA. Cubs have the money as all the bad contracts are off the books finally. It’s been 105 years not like it’s any big deal to wait a few more years to establish your hitting. Not like the Cubs have a bunch of old players out there. They will be in their mid to late 20’s and need some solid pitchers. Red Sox seemed to do just fine as I recall in 04. Like I said let their hitters get established and see which pitchers have a desire to have a good lineup around them. If I was a pitcher that would be something I’d want but that’s just me. Cubs have had good teams so this well they’ve always sucked for a long time is another myth. Dunston, Sandberg, Grace, Dawson, Maddux and Sutcliffe were a good team. The Zambrano, Wood and Prior team was good. Just wasn’t meant to be. Detroit gave up nothing for Price but yet have an all star rotation. You’re saying cubs could never have that? Ok guess we’ll see. Isn’t that pretty much what every pitchers says in April we might be good this year. Kind of the reason you sign up with a team but yea ok there Jim.

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            I have no idea what you are talking about or why you are saying it, as none of it has anything to do with what I said. The Cubs may go on to win the next 10 World Series. Good for them if they do. And they might sign every top FA pitcher in baseball this year. Good for them if they do.
            But the idea that pitchers are going to not demand every penny they are worth so they can play with a bunch of prospects and bring a WS to Chicago is just laughable. If the Cubs get Lester or anyone else, it’s because they offered the most money to Lester. Not because Lester cares that Chicago hasn’t won a WS in over a 100 years.

          • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

            You’re not from Chicago nor a Cubs fan so I wouldn’t make any sense to you. If I was a top FA I’d go to Chicago just like Lebron went back to Cleveland. Some athletes care about, you know, the sport. Why would it be surprising if a couple top pitchers said hey lets do this for the game. You need to see more than just dollar signs. More to life.

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            And who are these Chicago born pitchers that played for the Cubs, love the Cubs, and now want to give up money to go back to Chicago to give their hometown a winner? And why is doing it for Chicago anymore “doing it for the game” than doing it for Kansas City? Or San Diego?
            It just seems as if you’ve created this delusional narrative based on what you would like to see (the Cubs win a WS).

          • tenncub 11 months ago

            I never thought Lester would give us a discount. I expect to pay market price for a TOR pitcher. Also, I think The Bosox jettisoned him because he had refused what they offered, so they did with him what the Cubs did with Samardzija; got what they could before he walked and they got nothing. IMHO

  38. DippityDoo 11 months ago

    I hear RA is still sore about losing out on Edward Jackson a few years ago, and now’s his chance to get him!

  39. PhilliesPhan4102 11 months ago

    Cole Hamels is worth more than just Addison Russell, not that he isn’t an excellent prospect.

    • northsfbay 11 months ago

      A players worth is what you can get. The Phillies are asking too much for Hamels and there is no trade.

      • flyerzfan12 11 months ago

        The Phillies can only negotiate with 1 team at the moment so odds are asking price doesn’t even matter. A deal won’t be happening til the offseason if it takes place.

        • northsfbay 11 months ago

          If the Phillies wanted to trade Hamels, they could have traded him before the trade deadline.

          • cscd1111 11 months ago

            Apparently not because it didn’t happen?

      • lt michaels 11 months ago

        So have fun getting into the Scherzer and Lester sweepstakes.

      • PhilliesPhan4102 11 months ago

        Well the Phillies don’t have to give Hamels to the Cubs. He’s worth at least 2 top prospects and we’re not getting screwed like the Rays did with Price. Unless you want to fight the Dodgers, the Red Sox, and the Yankees in the Lester/Scherzer bidding war.

        • Frank Richard 11 months ago

          The market sets the value of any player. The value was was high in the offseason when James Shields was traded. When price was traded values went lower. The Cubs would be dumb to trade multiple top prospects for Hamels when market values have lowered so much. Plus the money Hamels I owed and his age are negative factors. Also the Cubs are not in a win now mode so they aren’t desperate to make a deal. The chances are better to acquire a TOR pitcher in free agency and only losing a second round pick rather then losing top prospects in this trade for Hamels.

        • antsal 11 months ago

          The Yankees may go after two top starters, not just one. Seems like the Hamels discussion will heat up when Lester and Scherzer sign and someone overpays James Shields for lack of quality starters available. Then Ruben can sit by the phone and wait for the calls to come in on Hamels. Not that the Dodgers are looking at money but they have Beckett and Ramirez coming off the books and they can use that 30 million for a top starter. Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees. It looks like the Cubs may have to wait another year to get an ace or settle for a number 2 who they’ll call an ace.

      • cscd1111 11 months ago

        Phillies fans knew when the Cubs claimed Hamels a trade was very unlikely. That said, good luck getting the pitcher you are looking for in next years free agent market.

    • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

      Until he needs TJS like all these other guys. Then Russell is more important.

  40. Baseball Legend 11 months ago

    This is an amateur type of move. Epstein could not have believed that the Phillies would just let him go and dump the salary via claim, so the Cubs did it only to block other teams. Which to me, make absolutely ZERO sense. This is the equivalent of a 7 year old hiding his siblings toy since he can’t play with it. If the Phillies are going to trade Hamel’s then they’ll just do it in the off-season. If another team claimed him, a real contender, then a trade could have been worked out now, possibly. The Cubs aren’t a contender, so why claim him and furthermore, what do they accomplish by blocking him from another team? I want a sound explanation from the Cubs front office on this. This is the same awful logic I see in play from the front office of the Red Sox and interestingly, the Padres, before they cleaned house. All these guys were cut from the same cloth, ironically. It’s just bad business all around, frankly. Whatever…

    • timpa 11 months ago

      Considering Amaro’s reputation and the fact that he went from one day telling Papelbon and others the Phillies would contend in 2015 to then saying “it may be a year or two before we can really contend again” I think The cubs may have just been kicking the tires and see if Amaro had gotten a lot more desperate after the trade deadline passed.

      There’s no real risk to Chicago. The Phils aren’t going to just dump his contract and let a team claim Hamels and if they did you’d do backflips over getting him for no prospects lost.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        You’re missing my point. This isn’t about the Phillies. It’s a strategy by the Cubs, that is very easy to see through. I fail to believe that discussions hadn’t taken place up to the trade deadline or for that matter, there were players put aside (realistically) by the Cubs that when the claim was made, they would make a competitive offer. From what is sounds like, they don’t want to give up any real good prospects so in a sense, why bother. Futhermore as the article states, the Cubs are far better off dipping into free agency in 2015. When the Cubs made the claim, they themselves probably thought there was less than a 10% chance something could happen. To an extent, that echoes the sentiment of the commenters on here. So I ask, why bother, when from a gamesmanship standpoint, they let him drop down the board or clear and let a contender try to work out a real deal. I think this was more in spite than anything else.

        • liberalconservative 11 months ago

          Amateur move is what Amaro has been doing with the phillies. He has a old team with a bunch of bad contracts. I am not saying he should trade Hamels who is his best player unless he get top prospects but not trading Rollins and Utley when the demand was high is not smart. Utley could have brought some very good prospects and Rollins you would get out of a bad contract. The phillies will continue their mediocre run to no playoffs if they keep holding on to old vets in bad contracts.

    • sherrilltradedooverexperience 11 months ago

      i think it’s okay to be behind the conclusion that Epstein is trying to make his team better than they are despite the standings. That’s his job and so i don’t think its totally fair to say he’s being selfish or spiteful by making the move. It may not work out (especially if they think they’ll be able to get a guy on the 40 man that has value through waivers) but i think Ep is smart enough to have guys in mind that would be acceptable to the phillies to at least think about it.. If not the phills will just try the market post season.

    • Bruinsfan94 11 months ago

      Umm what? The cubs are known to be looking for an ace. It would be bad business not to take a shot. Why take the chance that a different ml club gets him? Maybe theo would like to try a trade. It’s not the cubs job to care what other teams want. You want a detailed explanation as to why a club would want a ace pitcher under contract?

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        Come on, please, let’s be serious. “take a shot”? The Cubs weren’t serious with the claim and I’m not sure why so many can’t read btw the lines. Of course the Cubs “want” Hamels, but there is a big difference btw trying and actually doing.

        • Ned L 11 months ago

          It’s good to know that you and you alone know exactly what the cubs are thinking with every move they make. Thank you for being here to interpret everything for us, you are viewed as a truly credible source on the cubs decision making process.

          • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

            terrific, but still doesn’t mean that my point is incorrect.

          • Ned L 11 months ago

            Actually, that part was too obvious to mention.

        • Bruinsfan94 11 months ago

          So you want teams to worry about other teams plans? Who cares if they weren’t serious? There is no rule about making a claim or not. Hell there is not even an unwritten rule. Your complaining about a team that is preparing to be a contender for years to come putting a claim in on a player? And why should they have let him get to a contender? They plan to contend soon and he’s under contract. We have no idea what names were exchanged at all. You just seem to be grasping at straws to rant about the the Cubs and Red Sox. Two teams that are by most account very well run.

    • James 11 months ago

      i do not think you understand how supply and demand works.
      There are only about 20 pitchers who are Aces. True top of the rotation guys. Hamels is one of them.
      There are going to be a couple in the FA market this year, Lester and Sherzer. And a few workhorse #2 pitchers (sheilds). If there are 2 or 3 elite options and 3 teams bidding, the prices go up.
      Hamels would be another option via trade. If you add him to the mis, and 3 teams are bidding on 3 players, prices stay low. If hamels is traded to a team like the dodgers, who would be unlikely to sign a big name SP (waste of cash for a team with 3 very good pitchers), then he is out of the offseason market.
      At worst, the Cubs made the offseason supply of Aces higher. This should help supress prices at least to a more accpetale level.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        I understand completely how “supply and demand” works. That’s precisely what I do for a living; dealing with a commodity that’s value is defined by inventory.You make an entirely plausible point, about creating more inventory in the offseason, which validates my comment somewhat more. The Cubs claimed Hamels in bad faith. It’s a very self-serving move considering the fact they really had no motivation to complete a deal. If the Cubs claimed Hamels and immediately put up Russel and a package of 2 other top guys, then I would say “whoa, they’re serious, good on them” but that’s not what’s happening. To essentially block other teams while in a pennant race is just an amateur move like I said.

  41. Castro and Baez could get through. The only teams with priority ahead of the Phillies are Colorado and Arizona. The Rox are set at SS with Tulo, and AZ might not put a claim in on those two.

    Is Theo just blocking, or does he think that he can get something done for Hamels? I think the latter. Whether these guys are what the Phils are looking for is another matter.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      for a quality bat cost controlled, either team would jump on either guy and play them out of position. either Castro or Baez could as easily play third, second, or center.

      • James 11 months ago

        yep. Baez is also a rookie, with elite upside. He does not even need to be any better than average to be a complete steal for his price. Castro is relatively cheap and signed long term.

    • Bruinsfan94 11 months ago

      No way Baez gets through anyone

    • Frank Richard 11 months ago

      Neither Castro or Baez would make it through with cost controlled young talent that can play 3rd, SS, or 2nd like Baez is playing now.

  42. northsfbay 11 months ago

    The Cubs claimed Hammels on the chance that the Phillies wanted salary relief. Just like the Dodgers claimed Cliff Lee in 2012. Do the Phillies want to hang on to Hammels or try to trade him in the offseason?

    • James 11 months ago

      The cubs likely were just blocking him from getting claimed elsewhere. If he stays on the market during the offseason, they have more options to get an ace. If hamels gets claimed by a team with the money to keep hiim for the rest of his contract, he is no longer on the market, making the overall market weaker this offseason.
      Smart move. There may have been an inkling that salary releif was in the card, but considering Amaro is still the GM, and has reportedly asked for the world for Hamels, this is unlikely

      • northsfbay 11 months ago

        If you are contending you can block a team if front of you.

        • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

          Which makes a little more sense for two contending teams to be competive for a difference maker of a player. Not from a team that is now where close to being competitive and likely wouldn’t do a deal anyway.

  43. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    Neither Castro or Baez will not get through waivers…….and Russell is not on the trade table……………with $90 million price tag, not many buyers out there for Hamels.

    • Robbieb7 11 months ago

      Yes, because only 1 team can “buy” Hamels right now.

      • northsfbay 11 months ago

        The Phillies can try to trade Hanmels in the offseason if they want to trade him. The Cubs can trade in the offseason. The Phillies are not the only team that the Cubs have to trade with.

    • Max Power 11 months ago

      Hamels is worth every penny and the Phillies will chip in money for a budget oriented team in order to increase the prospect haul. There would be plenty of interested parties for Amaro’s replacement to deal with.

  44. TommyC 11 months ago

    Good news. Would have been dumb to rush a trade when there will be better opportunities this winter and at next year’s non-waiver deadline. Now, what’s the word on Byrd?

  45. Ned L 11 months ago

    Shocking, truly shocking.

  46. TommyC 11 months ago

    Both sides can breathe a sigh of relief.

  47. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    When 29 teams want one of your three shortstops, you know Theo & Jed control the conversation of who they want in return.

    • nhsoxfan 11 months ago

      and what does that say about Jimmy Rollins (I see 3-4 solid years left for him so he is not a part timer yet) Amaro wants an upgrade

  48. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    The Cubs are on the rise…and the Phillies are declining……just remember that baseball fans.

  49. Baseball Legend 11 months ago

    Good grief. Proves my points below. Had the Cubs made the claim in good faith, Hamels would be wearing a Cubs jersey tonight. No doubt in my mind. There are few teams other than the Cubs that could pull off such a trade with ease and still have deep DEEP prospects left over. Silly. It was a bad faith move to block other teams and fine if no one wants to agree, but that’s the truth.

    • TommyC 11 months ago

      It was unlikely the Phillies would get this complex a deal done with any team in a 48-hour window. And it really isn’t in their best interest to trade him when the other team has the leverage of being the only suitor.

      The Phils should have waited until this winter or next July, regardless of who put the claim in. And it’s likely the Cubs DID have some genuine interest in acquiring him, even if they weren’t willing to meet the Phillies demands.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        Fair enough and I agree from the perspective of the Phillies. I just hear a lot of talking and not much doing out of the Cubs camp. Nothing about the claim wowed me at all. The moment I heard the claim, I knew they weren’t going to get a deal done, so I say, why bother. He should have dropped to a true contender that may or may not have been desperate and coughed up a heavy prospect package.

        • Justin Fields 11 months ago

          Not much doing? Have you seen the deadlines the past 3 years. Why give up prospects when pitchers such as lester, shields, and mad max will be free agents? Stick to your mlb the show championships. Cubs will get their pitching this off season.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        also, had the Cubs been dead serious and offered up a package with Russell and two other top end prospects, it may have made the Phillies sit back and think. Sounds like this was a “yeah, not going to happen” type of thing.

    • Mike1L 11 months ago

      I’m not sure I agree. There was probably a deal to be made, but the Cubs almost certainly did not want to pay what they just obtained for Shark, if not more. RA isn’t an easy person to bargain with. Maybe they should have realized that and not bother, but for the right price, Hamels creates a free agent signing without the 6-7 year comittment. And, not to make an obvious point, but the Cubs owed nothing to the Phillies. It was RA’s choice, when he could have dealt him anywhere, to price him so high.

      • Frank Richard 11 months ago

        RA is terrible to deal with. He way overvalues his players. Not that Hamels is overvalued but when you see him asking for a top 100 prospect for Marlon Byrd and he is firm on that then you know he is reaching. The general consensus around baseball before the deadline is that the Phillies were open for business but the were asking for the moon on every available commodity.

    • Eric Berg 11 months ago

      There is nothing bad faith about it. They don’t have to not claim a player because the Phillies have ridiculous demands. You sound like a Philly fan.

  50. nhsoxfan 11 months ago

    Now you see him now you don’t.

  51. northsfbay 11 months ago

    The Phillies fans can cry all they want. The Cubs don’t have to save the Philies sinking ship.

    • Robbieb7 11 months ago

      Who is crying? Nobody expected Hamels to be traded to the Cubs. Enjoy your AAA championships.

    • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

      I think the Cubs have their own issues to worry about, frankly. While the Phillies are a disaster, the Cubs are largely unproven and based on their non-moves, I can’t see that boat pulling into the harbor anytime soon as well.

      • Eric Berg 11 months ago

        You can’t see them being competitive next year with Baez, Bryant and a couple free agent starters, not to mention potentially Snydergaard or another top you g arm being acquired via trade?

        • Dylan 11 months ago

          If they can sign Lester and trade a prospect for Syndergaard (which would be extremely rare and teams hate prospect for prospect deals), AND the rookies play up to their full ability, of course they could be a contender. That’s a lot of If’s though.

          • Eric Berg 11 months ago

            I’m just talking competitive. I think the Cubs will be able to add a couple arms to their rotation next year. Legend is acting like the rebuild is nowhere near complete but it is almost over.

          • Dylan 11 months ago

            Their offense/defense will allow them to be competitive. They need pitching. A guy like Hamels would entice a guy like Shields as well and would make them a contender in a tough, deep division

  52. Jim C 11 months ago

    I don’t understand the mentality of the Cubs fans here. The fact that many refuse to give up any of their top prospects for one of the best starters in baseball is crazy. I understand potential and cost controlled talent but these guys that you’re all high on are not locks. During the Phillies run they traded Singleton, Cosart, Santana, Drabek, Gose, Villar, Carrasco, Knapp, amongst others, these moves helped them be arguably the best team in baseball for 5 years, and so far none of these highly rated guys have turned into stars, or in better words, immediate impact players. I get that the Cubs prospects are probably rated higher than most of the Phils prospects were, but that still doesn’t guarantee success. Sooner or later the team is going to have to take a chance or two to get them a WS chip, and I’m sure if a ring meant trading some of these top guys, many of you would do it.

    • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

      THANK YOU! That’s the point. Claim the guy, make a sincere offer of prospects, especially when you have about 20 top ones and make the move. Why they made the claim and in 12 hours the Phillies pulled him, just shows that they weren’t even in the same ball park in terms of value. Which again, questions the Cubs motivation here.

      • Jamesonhendry 11 months ago

        Same reason RAJ didn’t do anything before the deadline. Seeing if there was any mutual interest if you don’t do anything nothing is lost. Can’t hurt to try. Should have traded Edlose Jackson straight up. Basically what the Rays got for Price.

      • Eric Berg 11 months ago

        Given Ruben Amaro’s insistence on keeping Cliff Lee when he should have moved him, I’d say it is much more likely that the person holding up a deal is him. Nobody is blowing him away to get Cole Hamel’s and Cole Hamel’s contract. It’s not that great of a deal.

    • Robbieb7 11 months ago

      I agree with the Cubs fans, why should they trade any of there future hall of famers? They should be MLB ready soon.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        “why should they trade any of there [sic] future hall of famers”

        Really? Are you joking :) Please tell me your joking. Please..

        • Robbieb7 11 months ago

          It was sarcasm. Remember a few years ago when the Royals supposedly had the best farm system ever?

          • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

            Got it. Like the Rangers, who have no one, but 2 years ago were crazy deep and soon to be the Red Sox and their collection of “can’t miss” types, who are starting to “miss” Yes, I remember exactly. The Cubs should have given the Phils what they wanted. Why they made the claim, remains to be seen.

    • TommyC 11 months ago

      They are in the heart of a rebuild. I agree that they (as fans of all teams do) overrate their prospects and forget about the high attrition rate for even highly touted prospects, but right now, they need to hold onto as many as possible to increase their chances of having a few pan out to form a core to build around. The time to start adding pieces to the core is after they’ve established themselves in the majors, not now.

      For a team like the Dodgers, I think it is very silly to have no desire to trade a lottery or ticket or two for a proven star when your team already has a core in place and could be put over the top by the addition of an elite player.

      • Baseball Legend 11 months ago

        I disagree with this entirely. This was precisely the time for the Cubs to make the move. They were awarded the claim and could have easily (in my opnion) pulled off a trade and likely not made a huge dent in their minors and then gone out and signed either Shields or Lester in the offseason. The 2015 Cubs would be going in with a bang.

        • DieHardMsFan 11 months ago

          Exactly. There is no guarantee that Shields/Lester want to play in Chicago or if the Cubs are the highest bidder for either of their services.

          Besides a deal for Lester will more than likely resemble that of Grienke. As a result I think Hamels has more value considering he is signed through his age 34 seasons w/ a 20MM team option for his age 35 seasons. Lester’s contract will start when he is 31 and likely run through his age 36/37 seasons while Shields contract will start at 33 and also run through his age 36/37 seasons.

          Than again if Amaro was asking for 3-4 top prospects than there is no point of trading that for Hamels. I thought a deal of Russell + a couple prospects ranked 8-20 in the Cubs system would have been a fair offer.

          • Max Power 11 months ago

            Why would the Phillies take that? I mean, I get the argument that the Cubs wouldn’t feel comfortable offering more, but why would that be a “fair” offer for the Phillies as opposed to waiting until the offseason (or next trade deadline or next offseason, etc) to get the best offer they could from 29 teams instead of 1? It’s not as if there’s a reason to think Hamels is a declining asset.

          • DieHardMsFan 11 months ago

            Well Hamels is owed around 20MM per year for the next five years. That is a contract that only a few teams can actually pick up. As a result I picture his market to consist off the NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, CHI Cubs, TEX and a few other clubs. Of those I doubt the Phillies will deal Hamels to the Mets. The LAA and NYY do not have the prospect depth to acquire Hamels. That leaves you with the Cubs, Texas, Boston and a few others teams. Of those the Cubs have the best farm system.

            Thus I think a fair deal will be Russell (a top 10 prospect in all of MLB) and a few 8-20 type of prospects a fair compensation.

            You also have to factor in the arms available on the free agent market such as Sherzer (spelling?), Lester, Shields, etc. that teams will only have to give money and one draft pick for.

            Hypothetically the Phillies can eat some money to get a bigger haul, but I doubt that will happen as then the team acquiring Hamels will be giving up too much in terms of prospects.

          • saidin09 11 months ago

            I was ecstatic last season when Buccholz went 10 and 0, would have been the best time to trade him and then he got injured. If Theo would have offered me Russell and two more, I would have jumped on it in a heartbeat. Hamels value is high now, but can u guarantee this next year at this time? 3 of Theo’s top prospects is worth more than another teams 4 or 5.This guy really knows his stuff.

    • Ned L 11 months ago

      It makes perfect sense to take a shot at exclusive negotiating even if it’s for a short period of time, it’s why teams do this every year. The fact that it cost the Cubs nothing to try adds more validity to their move. As far as not being willing to trade any of their top prospects, we have no idea if they offered all of them or none of them, it may be the Phillies asking too much or the Cubs offering nothing, we have no idea and to speculate is ridiculous.
      The fans may be wrongly attached to their young guys, but if they don’t score big with FA’s, I’m sure they’ll change their tune soon enough.

    • gaius marius 11 months ago

      fellas, you cannot ignore the fact that Hamels is paid $23mm a year. he just doesn’t represent any value to a team with that price tag. he puts up 4 or so WAR every year, which is great pitching, but that isn’t valuable to a team if they have to pay full price for it. the Cubs are far better off signing Lester for $25mm per and keeping all their kids.

      until people get the concepts of price, worth, and value down in their heads — including maybe Amaro, which is why the Phils look the way they do these days — they are never going to understand MLB transactions. a guy being really good is not the only factor, and it won’t command a pile of prospects all by itself. outside of finding someone truly desperate to win right now, you need to give value to get value — and Hamels at his price tag just does not represent anything like the value it takes to land a top ten prospect.

    • Eric Berg 11 months ago

      Why would the Cubs give up an elite prospect when for a few million a year more they can sign Lester in the offseason and give up nothing? None of those prospects listed had the standing of Baez, Bryant and Russell. Wil Myers is an example of the kind of prospect those three are and he has been very promising in the majors although injured and scuffling this year.

      Not that all three are going to hit it big, but they each have a good enough chance that it makes no sense to move them for Hamels.

  53. Mike1L 11 months ago

    Just making a general comment. The time to trade freely is on or before July 31, when the only restrictions are no trade clauses and whatever the other guy is willing to pay. From August 1st on, you are at the mercy of your counter-party who is awarded the claim. The Cubs had no obligation to pay RA what he was asking before July 31. They had a clear shot at making a deal on their terms. It didn’t happen because the price wasn’t right for the Phillies. But, that’s the breaks.

    • Robbieb7 11 months ago

      Yeah, realists knew that there was a less then 5% chance a Hamels waiver deal would happen. Just waiting for the details on Marlon Byrd, who could be moved for sure.

  54. northsfbay 11 months ago

    The Cubs are rebuilding and lets see which prospects pan out. They are not going for the playoffs and trading prospects for an established player.

  55. DippityDoo 11 months ago

    Wish I could hear RA and JH going back and forth.

  56. Mike1L 11 months ago

    For the Phillies fans out there, let me ask the question differently. The Cubs traded Shark for Russell (yes, there were other parts, but they were the linchpins). If Shark and Hamels are comparable (Shark perhaps having more upside and youth, Hamels a consistent force and more years of control) why would the Cubs give Russell plus two other prospects+ more? The value isn’t there. Hamels only makes sense for the Cubs if they can get him for a price that isn’t materially higher than they received for Shark

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      I’m sorry, in what world are Shark and Hamels comparable?!? If we’re going to say they are comparable, then we might as well say Hamels is comparable to Clayton Kershaw.

      • Mike1L 11 months ago

        my point was that from a cubs perspective, if you had thought about making a three way trade, you wouldn’t have given up shark, and Russell and two more top prospects plus a fourth solid one to get Hamels. It took Shark to get Russel. Not that Hamels isn’t a terrific pitcher. Just that the Cubs didn’t really match up if that was the price

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          I get that the Cubs don’t match up (or at least, Cubs fans who don’t want to lose their prospects think the Cubs don’t match up). But your 3 way trade scenario is wrong. You wouldn’t have given up Shark, Russell, 2 more top prospects, and a 4th solid one for Hamels. It would have looked like this (throwing in Cubs prospects at semi-random):

          Phillies get: Russell (from OAK), CJ Edwards (from CHC), Jen-Ho Tseng (from CHC), and maybe Eloy Jimenez (from CHC)
          Cubs get: Hamels (from PHI), McKinney (from OAK), Straily (from OAK), and PTBNL (from OAK)
          A’s get: Samardzija (from CHC) and Hammel (from CHC)

          So essentially, the Cubs would be giving up Samardzija, Hammel, Edwards, Tseng, and Jimenez to get back Hamels, McKinney, Straily, and PTBNL. I don’t see how that’s a bad deal for the Cubs – especially with the limited control of Samardzija and Hammel.

    • timpa 11 months ago

      Not saying what makes sense for cubs, but in terms of Hamels worth. Yes he’s worth more than Shark.

      Hamels is a top-10 WAR pitcher this decade, he’s delivered a WAR over 3.0 in every season he’s thrown at least 150 innings and had 4 season (3 recently) of 4.0 WAR or better. Shark has never delivered even 3.0 in a season yet.

      Shark is having the best year of his career and guess what? Hamels is still 0.5 WAR ahead of him and that’s with 3 less starts than Shark. Phils were kicking in enough money to make him $20M for his 4 guaranteed years. He’s 13 months olders than Shark.

      So yes. Hamels is worth more than him. If the end of the day total is getting Russell + McKinney for Shark. Hamels should have another 50-100 prospect type kicked in.

  57. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    Philadelphia wanted to get something more from the Cubs when Hamels trade talks started out revisiting the Dejesus / Sandberg deal.

  58. Greg Cole 11 months ago

    Why did we find out who claimed Hammels off the waiver wire but not Byrd?

    • DieHardMsFan 11 months ago

      Because someone leaked the news to some reporter somewhere. Claims are not supposed to be released to the public unless someone is actually traded…

  59. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    Just because Theo has a boat load of top 100 prospects, doesn’t mean he is going to give them away in large quality for one guy………..look at today, Cubs got 23 yr old Jacob Turner for nothing….who could turn out like a Cole Hamels …………Cole Hamels could be DFA again in two years, unwanted, over paid, and maybe having TJ issues…………..when the Cubs are close to winning it all, many MLB players will want to jump on the Cubs Bandwagon to be part of that World Series.

    • Dylan 11 months ago

      Do you really believe that Turner could be Hamels? Like, for real?

      • bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

        Do you really believe that Theo would have given Russell, Almora, McKinney, Baez for Hamels? Like, for real?

        • Dylan 11 months ago

          No I don’t. I never said he would. The difference is that you actually said that; I didn’t.

    • Guest 11 months ago

      the cubs will never win the world series. you heard it here first.

  60. northsfbay 11 months ago

    The Phillies pulled back Hammels. The Phillies have to wait until the offseason before they hold someone up.

    • bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

      The only one who got held up was Phillies FO of giving all that money to Hamels and not getting anything from that contract…….
      and Ryan Howard also robbed the Phillies with his contract…..good luck on unloading that contract.

  61. cscd1111 11 months ago

    Everyone is saying the Phillies were asking to much does anyone really no what the Cubs offered?

    • bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

      Rumor was Almora #5, P Johnson #11 and D. Maples.

      • cscd1111 11 months ago

        People need to be careful because rumors are not always correct. That said Cole Hamels is a top of the rotation pitcher his trade value is and should be very high IMO, this trade with the prospects mentioned just was not enough to land a guy like Hamels. Anyways the Phillies if serious about trading Hamels may be better off waiting to this off season and see what type return can be had by the Cubs or who ever.

      • leroy 11 months ago

        Russell was included in that…The Phillies wanted Russell.

  62. johansantana15 11 months ago

    “Russell would be a piece, but it’l cost significantly more. Another of their top 6, probably Soler”. Russell and Soler are top 30 prospects and a another of their top 6 (Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, Almora) would be another top 30 prospect.

    • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

      Meaning Russell AND Soler, or another of their top 6. Not Russell, Soler and another of their top 6.

  63. Max Power 11 months ago

    I love how an ace in his prime for less then what Lester and Scherzer are going to get is seen as a negative, when convenient.

    Regardless, the Phillies have been said to be very open to eating salary, so it’s even more of a moot point.

  64. antsal 11 months ago

    Let’s wait until Shark wins double digit games in a season or pitches more than 1 inning in the post season before we start comparing he and Hamels. If you mention “upside”, I agree, it seems he’s a better pitcher than a .425 winning percentage shows.
    P.S. – Yes I brought up wins and winning percentage, sorry and yes I do realize Shark is a whopping 13 months younger than Hamels.

  65. Phillyfan425 11 months ago

    But *(insert my team’s name)* is different! We’re going to have built our entire lineup through prospects. They never fail!

  66. Tempguy 11 months ago

    What if you trade the ones that do amount to something then?

  67. slyfox1908 11 months ago

    The more prospects you have, the more prospects you have succeed

  68. Bob 11 months ago

    cough Brandon Wood

  69. Tempguy 11 months ago

    Oh damn, I forgot literally all prospects turn out to be Brandon Wood.

  70. Karkat 11 months ago

    That’s called bad luck. Most teams have some prospects that work out great, but the odds are almost always in your favor when trading for major league talent

  71. Ray Ray 11 months ago

    That’s why it’s called a risk and not a guarantee. If you want a guarantee then go buy some low yield bonds and not a baseball team full of prospects.

  72. Phillyfan425 11 months ago

    No, not all prospects turn out to be Brandon Wood. But the level of prospect overvaluation is at one of the all-time highs in baseball right now (which is funny, because of how much money teams are making – you’d think that they’d value current MLB players more).

    Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a Cubs exclusive problem (which is why I put “insert my team’s name” instead of Cubs). It’s pretty much league wise for any team that has somewhat decent prospects.

  73. Bob 11 months ago

    or Colby Rasmus, Domonic Brown, Mike Moustakas, Tyler Skaggs, Brian Matuz, Ian Stewart and on and on

  74. Tempguy 11 months ago

    I don’t disagree on that point, but I don’t think the Cubs are at that point where they can take that risk.

  75. Karkat 11 months ago

    I dunno, Hamels is under contract for awhile, he’s performing at an elite level, and the Cubs could sure use someone like him if they see themselves as competitors in the next couple years

  76. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    Colby Rasmus might be the only guy out of that group that at least had a near 5.0WAR season.

  77. Tempguy 11 months ago

    I can go find prospects that did work out, but that isn’t the point. There is value to having a large number of prospects, making it more likely to find one of those guys that does work out. Especially when they are young and you can have that guy in their prime.

  78. Tempguy 11 months ago

    He is 31, and his contract is just under market value. The Cubs have the monetary resources to go out and sign a guy like Lester or Scherzer. Obviously there is some value to actually trading and getting the guy, but I would not give up a guy like Bryant or Russell for that.

  79. Aaron Stahl 11 months ago

    Verlander performed quite well last year too.

  80. Karkat 11 months ago

    It’s true. I expect the Cubs to be huge players for Lester. But this could be a good chance to toss around ideas for a Hamels trade if Lester passes by

  81. Gersh 11 months ago

    I know it doesnt make much of a difference but he is 30 not 31.

  82. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    They have the money but it’s unlikely that those guys go there just because they offer it. The Cubs aren’t exactly the model organization built on winning the World Series.

    Any free agent they get nowadays has to be done by drastically overpaying them either that or they buy low on them. However if they get Hamels it might open up free agents with wanting to go to the Cubs because they’ve started acquiring elite major league talents.

  83. $23759537 11 months ago

    I agree. Why pay the money AND give up the prospects when you can get a guy in the off season for similar money and still get to keep the prospects.

  84. Tempguy 11 months ago

    TBH, I don’t expect Amaro to be around when and if the Phillies decide to trade Hamels.

  85. Trock 11 months ago

    Or if you can get Hamels for a good package, keep a good chunk of your great prospects, AND sign Lester, that is a nasty 1-2 right there.

  86. Karkat 11 months ago

    I keep not expecting Amaro to be around, but you gotta admire that man’s staying power

  87. Bob 11 months ago

    I urge you to crack open baseball americas 2008 top 100 handbook

  88. Tempguy 11 months ago

    You are always going to have to overpay for FA. Players taking a discount is a rarity that you cannot rely on. If you have the money, you can get almost anybody.

  89. Tempguy 11 months ago

    It truly is amazing.

  90. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    Not true, if I’m getting the same offer from two different teams I’m going to go to the franchise that wins over the one that doesn’t. This has been a common theme for why impact free agents haven’t gone to Toronto since the 90’s. It’s not like they don’t have the cash. When they’re not winning you don’t get a Roger Clemens type impact free agent.

  91. Bob 11 months ago

    ok enjoy being the Phillies in 5 years

  92. Tempguy 11 months ago

    Just looking at the top 20, I would take half of those guys on my team.

    Not saying the Cubs prospects are anyway likely to develop into these guys, but I would feel a bit silly if I traded Bruce, Longoria, and McCutchen for Hamels. (Just to make it clear, I am not guaranteeing any of these guys become McCutchen-level stars)

  93. halflink123 11 months ago

    A good portion of the top prospects from 2007 turned into all stars. I would say around 50% of the top 30 became elite players

  94. Tempguy 11 months ago

    Well of course if the offer is the same, but I said overpay. Also, Cole Hamels alone does not make the Cubs a contender.

  95. Aaron Stahl 11 months ago

    That’s a pretty funny coincidence, I believe David Price a few days before he was traded stated how awesome it would be to win a world series with the cubs. With the facilities updates, the positional prospects coming up, and a plethora of money I am sure Chicago will be an attractive place to play.

  96. john 11 months ago

    Toronto is a bad example. People don’t go to Toronto because of the extra tax implications they have to deal with when they get paid in Canada. So a 100 mil offer in say Texas is worth more than a 100 mil offer in Canada.

  97. Bob 11 months ago

    who could ever forget the untouchable Kyle Drabek

  98. Karkat 11 months ago

    You just ragged on Verlander/Hamels, but you’re going to want Price when he’s the same age now?

  99. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    Not everyone is Luke Scott when discussing what they think of a certain town/stadium. I’m sure John Lester thinks that Oakland is a horrible place to play in, I’m also sure he won’t say anything for fear of being branded untrustworthy with the media by team’s willing to sign him if he did.

  100. Aaron Stahl 11 months ago

    Sure, you might pay another 8mil a year in contract, but you also keep Russell an elite SS prospect.

  101. Karkat 11 months ago

    Chicago has like 17 elite shortstop prospects

  102. Aaron Stahl 11 months ago

    Well since Baez is playing 2nd, and Castro is rumored to 3rd with Bryant possibly playing OF it looks like Russell is the perfect fit for SS.

  103. Karkat 11 months ago

    But the more proven major league talent you have, the more… proven major league talent you have.

  104. TheRealRyan 11 months ago

    I can understand wanting to hold on to your prospects since the Cubs are far down on the win curve, but Hamels will be significantly less expensive than the top FA guys this year. You would be paying him probably $40-$50MM less than the other guys. Hamels is signed through his age 34 season, whereas Lester and Scherzer will most likely be signing until they are 36 or 37. Whatever contract the FA SP sign will probably look pretty ugly at the back end.

  105. Baseball Legend 11 months ago

    Yes, I’m aware of that and Esptein is president. Where do you think the final call comes from on these?

  106. $23759537 11 months ago

    Every single “big” contract ever signed looks “ugly at the back end.” From Kevin Brown to A-Rod, I can’t think of a single contract that’s worked out well in those last couple years (Pujols, Hamilton, Soriano… and what are the Yankees paying Jeter this year to wave at crowds?)

    The Cubs have the money. Keep the prospects, buy a pitcher.

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