It’s just over a month until the MLB trade deadline arrives.The Phillies will make some trades. Aaron Harang is almost a certainty to be dealt. Expect Ryan Howard to remain. But what about Cole Hamels? Where will King Cole be August 1. Metro has four possible destinations for the Phillies ace.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, the Dodgers had a lead scout out at Yankee Stadium Wednesday to check out Hamels. The Dodgers have the prospects to offer the Phillies and the ability to handle additional payroll. Despite an impressive array of high-priced talent, LA can’t seem to pull away from the World Champion San Francisco Giants in the NL West divisional race. Adding Hamels to a rotation led by Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke would be obscene. That rotation plus a lineup led by Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez would make the Dodgers the odds on favorite to win the World Series. Kershaw would be thrilled to add Hamels to the Dodger rotation. “I still can’t believe he didn’t leave the Phillies for free agency when he had the chance and consider signing with us,” Kershaw told Metro last season. “All I know is that Cole Hamels would have looked awfully good in Dodger blue.” It could still happen.
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2. Texas Rangers
Young slugging prospect Joey Gallo and catcher Jorge Alfaro would be enough to land Hamels if the Rangers really want the Phillies ace. With Yu Darvish out for the season, the Rangers, who are in the thick of things in the AL West, need a stopper .If the Rangers trade for Hamels, could they catch the division leading Astros and hold off the powerful Angels? There is only one to find out but the Phillies will rightfully demand top tier prospects for Hamels. How could they not after the Cub’s landed Addison Russell for Jeff Samardzija last season?
3. St. Louis Cardinals
Hamels would have no problem playing in St. Louis. The Cards have the prospects to deal and even though they are the best team in baseball, St. Louis realizes that it needs an ace to replace Adam Wainwright, who is out of the season. Hamels would be invaluable for the Cards during the postseason with his enviable skill set and experience. The Cardinals know what it takes to win and it wouldn’t be shocking if their braintrust works out a deal for the best pitcher available, which will give the vaunted organization the best chance of winning the World Series.
4. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies are justifiably asking for the moon for Hamels. The last thing they want to do is give away the team’s crown jewel. There is no need to recreate the Cliff Lee trade or the Hunter Pence deal, in which the Phillies received nothing of note in return. It would be better to hold on to King Cole as opposed to dealing him for little value. Why help another team win a World Series if they fail to offer enough for a hurler, who clearly steps it up in October?