As the long march of the MLB offseason, well, marches on, it's easy to forget that the Phillies likely have business yet to attend to. It seems like a weekly trend that some national writer mentions hearing whispers of Cole Hamels' name around some team or another only for nothing more to come of it. Such is the offseason after the Winter Meetings: lots of rumors, not a lot of action.
In this week's edition of his Sunday Baseball Notes, The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo offered the latest Hamels whisper:
There have been no talks this month between the Phillies and Red Sox, according to a major league source. The Red Sox will not part with Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart. The Phillies would need to get one of the two for Hamels to make a deal they feel comfortable with, and the Red Sox haven’t budged. Meanwhile, the Phillies are getting sniffs from the West Coast on Hamels.
Because we're only 11 days into this fine month of January, the fact that the Phillies and Red Sox haven't talked isn't particularly remarkable. Hell, I often go much longer without talking to members of my family--I'm a terrible son, brother, nephew, cousin, etc.--so, let's not overreact and take this as an announcement of the death of Hamels to Red Sox.
Moving on to the next two sentences, we come to what might well be deemed "old news." Since this past July, the narrative surrounding Ruben Amaro, Jr. as a potential trade partner has been that he is asking for more than teams are willing to give up. Here, once again, Amaro, greedy bastard that he is, is asking for one of the Red Sox's top trade chips in exchange for his top trade chip. What seems to have transpired is a good, old-fashioned stand-off between two adversaries.
As we've discussed in these pages at considerable length and repetition, Amaro has absolutely no need to budge. Zero. Cole Hamels isn't without value to the Phillies in 2015 and beyond. He's young enough that he could conceivably contribute to the next successful Phillies team and, until then, his presence, ability, and charm will help put asses in seats. Amaro is right to demand considerable value in return for Hamels. The Red Sox, too, are free to value their players how they wish and refuse to trade them for Hamels. They're probably being silly, but they're free to be silly.
Finally, we can move on to the last juicy morsel of this Sunday note. Again, not groundbreaking news, this, but it indicates, at the very least that teams out west, such as the Padres and Giants, most likely, remain interested in Hamels. The Giants probably don't have the young talent needed to acquire Hamels, but the Padres sure do. The interest here has been described as "sniffs," so, if I am reading that correctly, it's unlikely that a Hamels trade will be announced tomorrow.
This has been your sort-of-weekly Hamels update. We'll see you again next week when, in all likelihood, Cole will still be a Phillie and the rumors will be lukewarm at hottest.