As all our eyes are on the horizon, watching for the final announcement that Jimmy Rollins will be traded to the Dodgers for something inevitably disappointing no matter how good the return, Ken Rosenthal furtively released information regarding the market for Cole Hamels. The tweets are of no small interest since we've been going around and around about what the Phillies might get for Hamels and Hamels is the best piece the Phillies have to drastically shorten the period of putridity we are embarking upon.
Here are those tweets, some thoughts to follow.
Was told yesterday that #Phillies’ Hamels was NOT part of this initial series of trades for #Dodgers.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
On #Phillies’ Hamels: #RedSox, #Dodgers have been reluctant all along to assume remaining financial commitment AND part with top prospects.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
Hamels no-trade to #RedSox but not #Dodgers. Would require BOS to pick up vesting option, making commitment 5/110. For #Dodgers, it’s 4/90..— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
That is NOT to say a Hamels trade won’t happen. But Scherzer, Shields free agents this winter; Price, Cueto, Zimmerman et all next winter.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
So, contrary to some speculation from last night, Rollins and Hamels were never packaged together in order to extract a top prospect from the Dodgers such as Pederson, Seager (obviously not since Rollins is a stop-gap--the greatest stop-gap ever!), or Urias. I for one am not surprised that that rumor turned out to be false. So much of what reporters post from the meetings are speculations by insiders who have been passing their own rumors around to the point that they can't tell what second-hand information is good anymore.
But that bit of information is not the most interesting. What Rosenthal reports that is interesting is that the two of the richest teams in the running for Hamels are unwilling to pay any premium for Hamels in order to win this year. It is perhaps anticipatable that the Red Sox, who valued Lester at 6/135 without giving up prospects, would not want to surrender a Mookie Betts for Hamels at 5/110. I don't know wether that is a reasonable position for them to take: that depends on how risky you think back end of Hamels's contract is and that is not something I can accurately measure. I will observe, however, that Hamels showed improved strength last season and sustained it for the entire second half. So, whatever the average risk of a contract like Hamels's is, Hamels's own risk is probably less. Think with that what you will.
The Dodgers, however, would only have to commit 4/90 to Hamels, which is well below what a pitcher like Hamels would get on the free agent market today. I'm surprised they wouldn't see at least one top prospect and a couple other pieces worth it to get Hamels. The team has a wide open window to win right now and in the future. Hamels would give them some cost certainty as they navigate through this window, not to mention the best #2 in the game. I know efficiency is important. But I prefer winning, within reasonable bounds. Plus, Hamels + JRoll = best catwalk ever. In LA that has tons of surplus value.
Thoughts? Frustrations? Emoticals? Pensiments?