Cole Hamels Rumors

Rosenthal On Marlins, Ichiro, Rangers, Pence

The Marlins aren’t thinking about firing manager Ozzie Guillen, but are expected to continue discussing potential trades in the week leading up to the MLB trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The 45-51 Marlins sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit yesterday, signaling that they don’t expect to contend in 2012. Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes…

  • Hanley Ramirez could be the next player traded, Rosenthal reports. The Marlins tried to send the third baseman to Boston last week and they’re still open to moving him.
  • The Marlins figure to shop Heath Bell aggressively, even though he’s just four months into a three-year contract.
  • Teams covet Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
  • Ichiro Suzuki is “a lot better than you think” once you take defense and baserunning into consideration, one executive tells Rosenthal. The Yankees acquired the veteran outfielder from Seattle yesterday.
  • The Rangers would love to obtain a top-of-the-rotation starter, but they believe they could address their rotation issues internally if necessary. Cole Hamels will be atop the Rangers’ list of potential targets if the Phillies don’t re-sign him.
  • The Phillies are indicating to other teams that they’re eager to move Hunter Pence. The right fielder will remain under team control through 2013, when he’s expected to obtain a raise and earn $13-14MM.
  • Rosenthal mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth repeating: the Nationals are among the teams interested in Zack Greinke.

Cole Hamels Rumors: Monday

Extension talks between Cole Hamels and the Phillies will accelerate this week, but the left-hander is “conflicted” about his next step, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this morning. The Phillies will almost certainly trade Hamels if he doesn’t accept their extension offer, Rosenthal noted. Here are the latest rumors surrounding Hamels with eight days to go before the trade deadline…

  • The Phillies are still "actively trying" to sign Hamels, writes Jim Salisbury of One "plugged-in" source told Salisbury that he thinks an extension will be reached.
  • The negotiations are reaching a “sensitive” stage,’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Phillies, who have offered Hamels a six-year deal in the $127.5MM range, must save themselves a window to discuss trades in case they can’t agree to terms with Hamels on an extension.
  • The Cardinals could be a suitor for Hamels if he reaches free agency, Crasnick writes. Hamels' wife is from Missouri.

Rosenthal On Hamels, Giants, Brewers

Talks between Cole Hamels and the Phillies will accelerate this week, as the sides consider the possibility of a mid-season extension, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Hamels must decide whether to accept an offer from the Phillies with the trade deadline looming and free agency just a couple of months away. The left-hander is “conflicted” about how to proceed, Rosenthal writes. The Phillies will almost certainly trade Hamels if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal, Rosenthal reports. Here are more notes from around MLB…

  • The Giants’ biggest offensive need might be a right-handed hitting outfielder.
  • A rival executive notes that the Nationals have relied heavily on their bullpen and suggests it’d make sense for Washington to add a starting pitcher this summer.
  • The Twins would want a major return if they trade Josh Willingham, who has a reasonable three-year, $21MM contract.
  • Some teams like Asher Wojciechowski, a right-handed pitching prospect acquired by the Astros from Toronto in last week’s ten-player deal. Overall the trade wasn’t considered a blockbuster, however.
  • Brewers relievers Manny Parra and Kameron Loe are drawing interest.
  • The Phillies might need to include cash if they trade Shane Victorino. Including salary relief could help the team obtain better prospects for the prospective free agent.

Poll: Which Starter Would Provide Biggest Boost?

The addition of a player such as Zack Greinke or Matt Garza may mean the difference of making the playoffs or spending October on the golf course for a team like the Braves. With the non-waiver trade deadline looming, teams will be forced to consider the value of trading for a front-of-the-rotation starter and how that particular move may impact the remainder of the season.

The question becomes which available starting pitcher will contribute the most down the stretch to help a team reach its goals for the season. Will Ryan Dempster prove to be the second coming of C.C. Sabathia during his stint with the Brewers? Or will Cole Hamels flame out like Ubaldo Jimenez after he arrived in Cleveland last July?

Knobler On Greinke, Brewers, Hamels, Phillies

Numerous teams remain unsure of how they will approach the non-waiver trade deadline as their performance over the next few days should separate the buyers from the sellers, writes Danny Knobler of For the Rays, a strong week may mean the difference between trading and retaining James Shields. Here are more of Knobler's notes, starting with Zack Greinke:

  • With the Brewers falling out of the NL playoff picture and Greinke stating his desire to test free agency, Milwaukee will attempt to put rumors to bed about the right-hander's health when he takes the mound on Tuesday. Greinke missed a start last week after expressing concern about how he felt in the wake of starting three consecutive games.
  • Beyond Greinke, the Brewers may elect to move other pieces including Francisco Rodriguez, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart, among others.
  • While Cole Hamels has been presented with a series of strong offers from the Phillies, the star left-hander remains uncertain about agreeing to an extension prior to the deadline, thus keeping a potential trade to another team in play.
  • Similar to the Brewers, the Phillies have a host of players drawing attention from a variety of teams but remain reluctant to alienate the fanbase by trading away names like Cliff Lee or Jimmy Rollins.

Hamels, Phillies Working Towards New Deal

The Phillies and Cole Hamels are said to be "moving in the right direction'' in their contract discussions, people familiar with the talks told Jon Heyman of  The club's willingness to go to six years was apparently a turning point in the negotiations.

The Phillies were said to start at $127.5MM over six years but are expected to go from there.  A report on Wednesday said that the club has been sending signals that they're willing to go to $130MM for the left-hander.

Gammons On Hamels, Dodgers, Headley

Peter Gammons of MLB Network weighed in with some notes on Twitter today. Let’s round them up…

  • Three teams say they've backed off on Cole Hamels because they believe the Phillies will get him signed. The Phillies are willing to offer Hamels a six-year extension in the $130MM range.
  • The Dodgers don't expect to acquire Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Buster Olney reported this week that the Padres' asking price on Headley is remarkably high. The third baseman will be under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2014.
  • One general manager doesn't expect a Zack Wheeler-caliber prospect to be traded this summer. To weigh in on the possibility of trading prospects for established stars, check out today’s MLBTR’s poll.

Starting Pitching Rumors: Nationals, Greinke, Tigers

The Nationals, Braves, Tigers and Dodgers are in on Ryan Dempster, who could be traded sooner, rather than later. But what about the rest of the starting pitcher market? Here’s the latest:

  • The Nationals don't intend to trade top prospects for a starting pitcher,'s Buster Olney tweets.
  • The Tigers intend to trade for a difference-making starting pitcher, Danny Knobler of reports (Twitter links). The Rays appear to be telling teams James Shields isn't available yet, Knobler adds.
  • It’s possible that Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke will both remain with their current teams at the trade deadline, and if they stay put demand will increase for the next tier of available starters, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The trade value of pitchers such as Shields and Matt Garza would increase and teams undecided about their midseason plans — the Marlins and Rays, for example — could decide to take advantage of the market and sell.
  • One rival executive said he’s “very” concerned about Greinke given his recent poor performances and potential fatigue issues. Another executive told Rosenthal that Greinke is a scary potential trade target.
  • The Orioles are among the teams that have shown interest in Bartolo Colon, Rosenthal reports.
  • The Tigers are still interested in acquiring a starting pitcher, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). However, they aren’t serious players in the market for Greinke.
  • In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney explained that players can improve their trade value by performing well in the days and weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Paul Maholm of the Cubs is one example, and clubs have already shown an interest in him. - Mike Axisa

Stark On Rays, Volquez, Butler, Phillies

The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors…

  • The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
  • The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.” 
  • The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
  • Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
  • Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
  • The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
  • Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
  • The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
  • The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.

Sherman On Mets, Hamels, Padres

The asking price for relief help remains high, even for players nearing free agency, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The Mets, of course, are looking for relievers and they’d prefer to acquire a controllable player, according to Sherman. Here are Sherman’s latest notes, starting with the Mets:

  • Acquiring a controllable reliever would provide the Mets with a long-term bullpen option but, it won’t be easy to complete a deal. “The problem is those guys are so scarce, and the cost, at least at this point, is prohibitive,” a Mets official told Sherman.
  • The Rays have always liked Lucas Duda, so there’s a potential match between the Mets and Rays, Sherman writes.
  • The Mets privately believe that the future of pitching prospect Jeurys Familia may be in the bullpen, so they could promote him in a relief role.
  • Cole Hamels could decline an extension offer that’s expected to fall in the six-year, $130MM range, but it wouldn’t be easy to do so, one team executive told Sherman. “My sense is he is comfortable in Philly, they have made the playoffs five years in a row and the $130MM says they value him, so it is going to take a heck of a reason to say no to that.”
  • If the Padres’ efforts to lock Huston Street up to an extension fail, they’ll make him available in trades later this month.