Cole Hamels, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies, 31 years old.
2015 stats: 5-6 record, 3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this story before: Cole Hamels is on the market, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is asking a ridiculous price, Hamels stays put and wastes away in Philadelphia. Same story, same result, year after year. Hamels is seemingly always on the block, but Amaro’s insistence on getting back the pieces to rebuild overnight always sinks whatever chances the lefty has of escaping that wasteland.
That being said, Hamels is having another fine year. The 31 year-old has built up a solid 3.26 ERA over 15 starts; production that teams across the league would love to have. Although Hamels has a no-trade clause in his contract which would allow him to block trades to all but nine teams (Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs and Mets,) the veteran pitcher has said he would keep an open mind if approached about destinations like Toronto or Houston, two clubs that could use the stability in their respective starting rotations. Hamels is signed through 2018, guaranteed $73.5 million, with a $20 million option for 2019. Any trade would likely involve the Phillies picking up most of Hamels’ tab as well as a guarantee that the 2019 option would be exercised, which isn’t too bad given Hamels durability ( at least 30 starts every year since 2007.)
Potential suitors: Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants.
The market for Hamels has heated up with the Astros and Rangers establishing themselves as contenders in the AL West, while the Blue Jays and Yankees remain close to the top of a tight AL East. The Giants could also be players as they hope to keep the Dodgers close and could use the stability behind incumbent ace Madison Bumgarner. However, unless the price on Hamels goes down, the Astros may be the only team with the assets to swing a deal for the lefty, thus leaving the other teams looking for backup options.