However, the Phillies are reportedly “insistent” on receiving multiple top prospects in return for the southpaw, and Boston’s offer included only major league players.
After an incredibly quick rise through the minor leagues, 22-year old Mookie Betts made his debut with the major league club in 2014. In 52 games Betts owned a slash line of .291/.368/.444 to go with 18 extra-base hits (including five home runs), 18 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
Betts was recently projected as Boston’s top position player by Baseball Prospectus.
Cole Hamels is coming off an impressive 2014 campaign with Philadelphia, where he went 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 8.7 SO/9 and a 151 ERA+.
In nine seasons with the Phillies, Hamels is 108-83 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.142 WHIP, 8.2 SO/9 and owns a career ERA+ of 125.
However, Hamels is 31 years of age and owed $94 million between next season and 2018, with a $24 million vesting option for 2019. The team could also pick up the 2019 option for $20 million, or buy it out for $6 million.
It is no secret that Philadelphia is looking to dump salary, and if they expect the Red Sox to part with one, let alone two, top prospects – they need to be prepared to eat a significant portion of Hamels’ remaining salary.
Although they still lack an “ace”, Boston has already made several additions to their starting rotation this offseason. With some payroll flexibility and an extremely promising free-agent market for starting pitching in 2016, Boston is in no position to panic and sell the farm to win now.
With the near future looking extremely bleak for Philadelphia, they desperately need to move Hamels far more than Boston needs to acquire him. The Red Sox would be smart to just sit back and let this situation play itself out.