As Tuesday’s trade deadline madness continued to bring news, what-if’s, and how’s, the Cole Hamels lottery is winding down. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that Phillies management is requesting all final offers for Cole Hamels be signed, sealed, and delivered by Wednesday, although that doesn’t rule out potential deals beforehand. There are numerous teams which have been contacted a second time to submit another, more “feasible” offer, but the teams believed to be sitting out front include the following.
Speculation is that Texas’ offer will trump others and land Cole Hamels. Philadelphia’s top scout has been checking out player inventory, and with Ruben Amaro Jr expecting an impossible (or marginally doable) return for Hamels’ services, Texas would probably need to move one top prospect, or both. Guessing games aside, Philadelphia is still only 75 percent sure they’ll move Hamels before the deadline, if at all. The Rangers are another bubble team sitting five games out of wild card spot No. 2, and would benefit from moves Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore — other bubble teams — refuse to make.
Los Angeles Dodgers
One hitch between Philadelphia and Los Angeles involves draft picks the Dodgers refuse to unload. Corey Seager, for one, could very well burgeon into another Tulowitzki (or better) caliber shortstop, meaning he’s off the table. Julio Urias, however, is another young up-and-coming lefty which could provide Philadelphia rebuilding power and would be less of a blow. However, trade talks are either being kept under raps, or have stalled, between Cole Hamels’ camp and L.A.
San Francisco Giants
Seemingly overnight, the Giants emerged as another suitor for Cole Hamels. Although the asking price seems too exuberant for San Francisco’s blood, talks continue, and prospects are being viewed carefully. The Giants have the cap space to tackle Cole’s remaining salary, and could easily sweeten the pot with cash considerations worthy of “something.” San Fran currently holds a 2.5 game lead over Chicago for wild card spot No. 2, and remain mere inches behind the Dodgers in the always-interesting N.L. West pennant race.
No offers are being refused (although will be beaten) from Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros (which Hamels said he’d veto), Yankees, and the Red Sox, to name a few. Should anyone have an aggressive offer that Phillies love before Wednesday, Twitter will explode in jubilation and the receiving team will inherit a left-handed inning horse — which many believe will be Texas.
Hamels could become the first player since 1900 to pitch a no-hitter for one club, then make his next start from another dugout. Every indication says that will happen, so congrats in advance.
[Photo by Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport]