Speculation grew after a Friday afternoon game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hamels took the mound and pitched two scoreless innings in the Phillies’ 4-1 loss.
It no secret that there is concern over a Yankees starting rotation which currrently consists of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Capuano, most of whom are recovering from injuries or have a history of getting injured. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankee brass have been getting encouraging news from both Tanaka and Sabathia, who have come away from bullpen sessions feeling ready to go.
The Yankees are so encouraged, in fact, that Tanaka will see his first game action against the Braves on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. It is still unknown when Sabathia will make his spring debut. With the Yankees slated to have Capuano as their fifth starter until Ivan Nova returns from Tommy John surgery, there is certainly reason for concern.
So it is no surprise that word came out the Yankees have had discussions with the Phillies about the possibility of trading for Cole Hamels. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has made it known that Hamels is available but has been unwilling to trade him unless he is blown away with a package of top-line prospects. This is the same general manager who asked the Yankees to swap top prospect Aaron Judge for Marlon Byrd. It is safe to say that a team will need to unload the farm system in order to acquire Hamels.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) March 8, 2015
Teams such as the Red Sox and Rangers have appeard to be logical landing spots for Hamels with a slew of top prospects and need for a top-of-the-line starter. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes, “according to one Phillies source, the Yankees have come the closest to landing Hamels.” According to Cafardo, the Yankees have offered a package of prospects that has given the Phillies a baseline for possible talks in the future.
For a Yankee team with so many question marks in its starting rotation, you can understand why they could try to swing a deal for Hamels. However, there is no need for the Yankees to gut their growing farm system for a guy who will command $90 million for the next four seasons and will be 31 years old.
Giving up players like Judge, Luis Severino and other top prospects who can help the Yankees is nonsense. If they have faith that Tanaka and Sabathia can stay healthy, there is no reason to give up on their future for Hamels. Perhaps a package of maybe Gary Sanchez, Rob Refsynder as well as some lower tier prospects might be a good enough package to get Amaro to send Hamels to the Bronx.
It’s evident why the Yankees have had preliminary talks about acquiring Hamels, but if Amaro’s asking price does not drop, it is hard to envision the lefty in pinstripes anytime soon.