Cole Hamels Rumors
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria may soon be faced with the question about selling at the deadline, something he wanted to avoid in the first year of the club's new ballpark. The best thing they could do to improve their farm system likely involves trading guys like Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and the newly acquired Carlos Lee.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams always thinks big and it would not be surprising to see him get in on pitcher such as Zack Greinke. The problem is that his farm system doesn't have much to offer and they don't want to give up pieces off the big league roster while contending.
- The best guess right now has the Padres keeping Carlos Quentin and trading Chase Headley. Rosenthal says it's simple supply-and-demand; as many as ten teams have shown interest in the third baseman Headley. The team isn't sure they can get more for Quentin in a trade than they would by letting him walk as a free agent and recouping draft picks after the season.
- The Orioles are clearly buyers. They're willing to trade any prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they probably don't have enough to get Greinke. They do have interest in lesser arms like Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, as well as leadoff man Juan Pierre.
- The Brewers could pit the Rangers and Angels against each other in the Greinke sweepstakes. Texas is unwilling to trade Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, or Martin Perez for a rental, which could create an opening for the Halos if they're willing to deal Major League talent.
- The Phillies do not intend to trade Cliff Lee to create payroll room for Cole Hamels. If they do keep Hamels long-term, they could have $140MM tied up in just eight players going into next season.
The Phillies plan to offer Cole Hamels a large contract extension in order to see if they can lock the southpaw up before the July 31 trade deadline, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The size of the proposal is unknown, though a source tells Stark that the Phillies have debated about whether or not to break their unofficial club policy of not signing a pitcher to more than five guaranteed years.
We recently heard that the Phillies were willing to go beyond four years to sign Hamels, though if the Phils aren't willing to go beyond five years, Hamels could easily get a minimum six-year deal on the open market this winter. If it's just length and not money (an estimated $24-25MM per season) that's the issue, the gap could possibly be closed by a vesting option.
This could explain why the Phillies are internally optimistic that they can re-sign Hamels, Stark hears from two executives from opposing teams.
"They're trying to sign him," said one of those executives. "And they think it's going to happen. At least that's what I was told."
If Hamels turns down the offer, then the Phillies could explore trading the southpaw before the trade deadline, though Stark notes that the Phillies intend to wait as long as possible to decide if they'll be sellers given that Chase Utley, Ryan Howard are off the DL and Roy Halladay will also soon return.
Lines of communication between the Phillies and the agent for Cole Hamels are open and the negotiations are reaching a critical stage, Jim Salisbury at CSNPhilly.com reports. Hamels, a free agent after the 2012 season, is expected to become a trade chip if the Phillies don’t sign him long-term.
Not much has changed since Spring Training, Salisbury reports. The Phillies appear to be comfortable paying Hamels close to $24MM per season (the same range as Cliff Lee), but the sides haven’t agreed on the length of the potential extension. Initially the Phillies wanted to complete a four-year deal, but it’s likely the team is now willing to offer more years. However, John Boggs, the agent for Hamels, could target a six or seven-year contract.
Rival executives are divided on what the Tigers need to acquire for the second half of the season, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Some say the Tigers need a pitcher, others say they should acquire a second baseman and others believe they don’t need to make a major addition. Here are more of Knobler’s notes, starting with the Tigers:
- Detroit has shown some interest in Matt Garza, but Tigers people suggest a deal is fairly unlikely, according to Knobler. The Tigers don’t seem enthused about the possibility of trading for Marco Scutaro, though they’ve shown some interest in him.
- The Phillies have identified about four teams that would be a fit for Cole Hamels and they’re saying they'd want players who are close to contributing in the Major Leagues. However, the Phillies aren’t ready to deal the left-hander yet.
- Scouts believe the Diamondbacks are serious about listening to offers for Justin Upton.
- The Royals had been considering the possibility of becoming midseason buyers this year. They don’t intend to give Jonathan Broxton or other players away because they “badly want” to win games in the second half, Knobler writes.
- The 43-43 Athletics see themselves as sellers, rather than contenders, Knobler reports. A’s people are hoping Brandon McCarthy pitches well and increases his trade value when he returns from the disabled list.
- Scouts are unimpressed by Cubs pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, Knobler notes.
The Diamondbacks are willing to trade Justin Upton even if they’re in contention, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Arizona GM Kevin Towers won’t make a deal unless he’s “dazzled”, Rosenthal reports. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors, starting with Upton:
- The Diamondbacks could pursue Major Leaguers instead of prospects for Upton if they remain in contention for a postseason berth. Upton raises some questions with his effort level and body language, according to Rosenthal, but the outfielder appears to have drawn “huge” interest from teams such as the Pirates nonetheless.
- The Rangers prefer Cole Hamels to Zack Greinke, though they continue scouting Greinke.
- Francisco Liriano has a 2.74 ERA in eight starts since returning to the Twins’ rotation, but clubs are “wary” of trading for the left-hander, Rosenthal reports. It’s doubtful that teams would part with significant prospects for Liriano, who’s thought of as a bullpen option by some teams. Matt Capps will also be available once he returns from the disabled list, according to Rosenthal.
- The Tigers are prioritizing offense over starting pitching, according to an executive that has spoken to the team. The Tigers need second base help and could also explore trades for corner outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers.
The Phillies concluded the first half of the season by dropping an afternoon game against the Braves by the score of 4-3. The setback marked Philadelphia's 50th loss of the season as the team currently sits in last place in the National League East with a record of 37-50. The 2011 Phillies did not lose their 50th game until September 12 as the squad went on to win 102 games in route to the division title. Let's check in on the latest news and headlines from Citizens Bank Park with the All-Star break nearly upon us...
- Cole Hamels spoke with CSNPhilly.com's Leslie Gudel about his current status with the Phillies and his future beyond this season as the trade deadline quickly approaches. Hamels said while he would be happy to sign a long-term deal with the Phillies, he's curious to explore free agency and potentially end up with a team on the West Coast like the Dodgers.
- Look for Hamels to land with the Rangers if the Phillies end up dealing the left-hander, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Olney spoke with baseball officials on Sunday who deemed Texas as the prohibitive favorites in the Hamels arms race.
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel isn't concerned about his job security given his self-proclaimed belief that he is a winner, writes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. "How concerned am I? I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself," said Manuel. "And I am a fighter. And not only that, I think I’m a winner."
The Phillies once believed that they could contend this year, but the confidence of the five-time defending NL East winners seems to have dwindled, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com writes. Now Phillies people say things like "you don't know if a team is just going to blow you out of the water" for a player of Cole Hamels’ caliber. Here’s the latest on Hamels, who would arguably be the top available pitcher if the Phillies put him on the market:
- People who know Hamels believe him when he says he likes Philadelphia, Knobler reports. "I've had no indication that he doesn't want to be here," GM Ruben Amaro told Knobler. Hamels’ contract expires after the season and he'd presumably command a contract of at least five years for $20MM-plus per season on the open market.
- The Phillies won't trade Hamels before trying to sign him to a long-term deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. They have discussed Hamels with other teams but would prefer to keep him. "Since we are built on pitching, and have had success with it, having those three guys are essential, if possible,'' Amaro said in reference to Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.
- The Rangers watched Hamels’ start last night, Knobler adds.
- Chase Headley could be the most coveted player of the summer, Olney writes. The 28-year-old third baseman has a .372 on-base percentage, earns just $3.48MM this year and has two years of team control remaining after 2012. Some rival evaluators expect Headley’s power numbers would improve if he played at a more hitter-friendly park in a more potent lineup, Olney writes.
- The Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks are among the teams believed to have some interest in Headley, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported yesterday.
- The Phillies haven’t decided to trade Cole Hamels, but the Rangers are already viewed as favorites to acquire the left-hander should Philadelphia make him available.
- The Dodgers could consider Russell Branyan, Olney suggests. Branyan, who has 194 career MLB home runs, has 11 homers and a .302/.436/.660 batting line in 133 plate appearances for the Yankees' Triple-A team this year.
We hear a lot of talk about buyers and sellers this time of year, but as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out in his latest column, some teams will do neither this summer and other teams will do both. Here are Rosenthal’s latest notes with less than four weeks to go before July 31st:
- The Red Sox could be positioned to trade an outfielder this month if their rehabbing players return as expected. Boston figures to pursue starting depth in trades; the Red Sox aren’t considering trades involving Josh Beckett.
- The Yankees will probably not sign Josh Hamilton or Cole Hamels this offseason, since they aim to avoid the MLB luxury tax by 2014 and that means cutting back on extravagant free agent signings.
- Under GM Frank Wren the Braves won more games while spending less money than every team but the Rays from 2009-11, Rosenthal notes.
- If the Blue Jays trade players on the brink of free agency such as Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, they’d look to acquire players who can help them win next year. And if the Blue Jays don’t like what other teams are offering, they’ll keep their potential free agents. Toronto’s not likely to overpay in a “go for it” trade, Rosenthal writes.
- The Blue Jays aren’t trading Colby Rasmus, who has become more driven, according to a team official.
- Rosenthal suggests the Athletics could look to acquire players midseason if they stay in the playoff mix. Bartolo Colon is the player the A’s are most likely to trade, Rosenthal writes.
- The Mets are actively seeking relief help, but it’s highly doubtful they’d trade for Huston Street, who publicly criticized Mets bench coach Bob Geren last year. The Mets, who insist they won’t trade top prospects, are likely to wait until the end of the month before making any trades.
- The Cardinals wouldn’t be willing to meet the Brewers’ asking price for Zack Greinke, Rosenthal notes. St. Louis is more likely to pursue a mid-rotation starter.
- The Diamondbacks believe they need a third baseman more than a starting pitcher.
The Nationals will win the NL East this year, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Bryce Harper appears to have solved the team's center field dilemma in the short term and the team's run prevention has been tremendous. General manager Mike Rizzo says his team's first half success isn't a fluke. “I’m very pleased with it -- don’t get me wrong -- but I’m not shocked by it," he told Morosi. Here are more of Morosi’s notes from around MLB:
- Peter Bourjos would likely intrigue the Phillies if the Angels ask about Cole Hamels, Morosi tweets. The Angels could explore the market for starting pitching depth given Ervin Santana’s first half struggles.
- There was once talk of the Pirates listening to offers on Kevin Correia, but it’s hard to see that happening now that Pittsburgh leads the NL Central, Morosi tweets.
- The Cubs will listen on Bryan LaHair, but their asking price remains high at the moment, Morosi tweets. Here’s more detail on LaHair and other potentially available first basemen.
- A rival executive expects the White Sox to look hard at possible relief help, Morosi tweets. Deunte Heath, Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo, Hector Santiago, Nate Jones and Addison Reed join Matt Thornton in Chicago’s relatively inexperienced ‘pen.