The notion that it would be fine if the Phillies trade Cole Hamels to a contender this month and re-acquire their young, homegrown ace smacks of the film, "Indecent Proposal."
Woody Harrelson's character makes a deal with a billionaire played by Robert Redford in which he trades his wife, Demi Moore, for a night, in exchange for $1 million.
Of course, it didn't work out for Harrelson. He dealt the love of his life and was tortured by his choice. Life wasn't the same.
Yes, Harrelson and Moore reunited at the end of the flick but that's Hollywood. There is no guarantee that if the Phillies deal Hamels that "Hollywood" will re-sign with the only team he has ever known.
Despite Hamels' All-Star comments -- the pitcher noted that he would give the Phillies right of first refusal in the offseason, if he is dealt -- the masses aren't convinced.
"I don't buy it," a National League scout said. "I just think you open up a can of worms when you trade somebody. The odds are against someone traded coming back months later as a free agent."
Hamels pointed to the precedent set by his teammate Cliff Lee.
"It's still something that doesn't happen usually," the scout said. "When somebody leaves, generally they're gone. When you look at Hamels, who knows what will happen? He's like a kid who has been in one relationship his whole life. He gets married young and that's all he knows. Trade him to a team that potentially goes on to win a World Series ... he could have a different view of everything. If you want him -- and young aces are hard to find -- you don't take that risk, even if you get something in return."
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who was hanging with Hamels during last week's All-Star Game, would love to see the San Diego native in Dodger blue.
"Who wouldn't want Cole on their team?," Kershaw said. "He's tremendous. If I were the Phillies I would sign him. Otherwise, he's going to be out there as the marquee free agent and it'll be much harder to sign him when there are other teams bidding for him. If I were the Phillies, I would give him what he wants. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Once you become a free agent, most of the time the player doesn't come back."