The Philadelphia Phillies appear more than willing to deal ace Cole Hamels before the trade deadline on Friday at 4pm ET, but they want interested teams to place their best bids before Wednesday, writes Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
Hamels is scheduled to make his post-no-hitter start Thursday against the Atlanta Braves, so the Phillies would like to make a decision as to where – and whether or not – they want to trade the lefty before he steps foot on the mound.
There are a surplus of teams interested in Hamels and conversations remain current and fluid. A recent contender for Hamels are the Houston Astros, according to Stark, although the 31-year old can block a trade there.
As reported before, the Giants are making a big push for Hamels, and financial flexibility can give them the edge if the Texas Rangers fail to put together a likeable package of prospects for Ruben Amaro Jr. Other interested teams include the Yankees, Dodgers, D-Backs, among others.
Contending teams expect Hamels to be dealt rain or shine before Friday, although Amaro Jr. and the Phillies’ ownership reserve the right to let Hamels finish the season up strong and try again during the off-season, at which point, if everything goes well, they can get a better package in return. Hamels will also be owed less money at that point and teams with low financial flexibility but high-ranked farms would be more willing to trade for the 10-year veteran.
Hamels is not having his best season, but he’s been doing better as of late. After last week’s no-hitter, Hamels now possesses a 3.64 ERA, with 137 strikeouts in 128.2 IP. He also has vast postseason experience, having appeared in 13 October games, accumulating a rather decent 3.09 ERA, and having taken home the 2008 NLCS and WS MVP Award, making him rather likeable to contending teams.