The Red Sox may not only eschew selling off parts at the trade deadline; they may be looking to take on talent.
The Boston Globe threw out the piece of information that the Sox sent a scout to look at Phillies starter Cole Hamels recently, while CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman echoed those reports on Sunday afternoon.
Hamels is having a tremendous season, but he still has five years and $110 million left on his contract. The Red Sox have been haggling with their own lefty, Jon Lester, unwilling to go much beyond the four years and $70 million they offered before the season started.
Hamels will turn 31 years old in December, while Lester turns 31 just one month later.
The Phillies lefty is 4-5 with a 2.83 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings. Both Hamels and Lester have a history of postseason success, with Hamels winning the NLCS and World Series MVP when the Phillies won the championship in 2008.
Any deal for Hamels would require the Red Sox to part with a host of top prospects, however. The Sox have a deep farm system, but re-signing Lester would cost them only money.
The Phillies are 11 games under .500, and a deal of Hamels would mean they’re blowing up the core that earned them that championship in 2008. Second baseman Chase Utley could follow Hamels, as well as fellow lefty Cliff Lee.
Boston, now six games under .500, still has seven games left with AL East rival Toronto and three with Tampa Bay before having to decide whether they want to make any moves — coming or going — at the trade deadline. Hamels, due to his extremely high salary, could also clear waivers and be traded after Aug. 1.
Follow Metro national sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.