Cole Hamels has been a star pitcher for several years now, and the subject of the longest running rumor mill in recent memory. The stories of a Hamels trade have been running for more than a year, and this spring, the Yankees and a number of other teams came up in a possible trade. For me, I have not seen a deal for him that would have been good for the Yankees. Apparently, every team that has tried to negotiate a deal has seen the same thing since he is still wearing a Phillies jersey when he steps on the rubber. I believe there is a couple of reasons why the deal has not happened.
Last week, an anonymous source within the Yankees organization has said that they are wondering if he is still the ace he once was (Jon Heyman reported it for CBS Sports HERE). I think they have good reason to be suspicious. Through six starts this season, Hamels is off the mark compared with last season and his career numbers. Of those six starts, three were Quality Starts and three were terrible. His ERA is almost a full point above his career average. His BB/9 is about double his career total. His WHIP went from 1.148 last year to 1.351 this year. He gave up 14 home runs over 30 starts last year. This year, he has already given up eight. Is he in decline? The Yankees seem to think so. I think they are on to something.
The other problem with Hamels is the Phillies’ asking price. The Phillies have told teams that they want a package for Hamels. From the Yankees, a package included Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, and Rob Refsnyder – as was reported HERE. Thankfully, the front office had the wisdom to decline an offer of the top talent in the farm system for a 31-year old pitcher. They have asked a lot from other teams as well, including the Boston Red Sox. All have balked, so Hamels continues to sit on the Phillies roster.
There is still a high likelihood that the Phillies will move Hamels. It’s only a question of who will blink first. The best thing for them would be if Hamels turns it around quickly and they explain April away as a slow start. That will help them get the talent they are looking for, even if they have to eat some of his salary. If not, you may see them make a surprising move for much less than they were asking for. Either way, the Phillies need to move him and the sooner the better. The decline of Cole Hamels’ numbers just means that teams will be keeping their eyes open.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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