Hamels an attractive trade option
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - INSIDE PITCH
As an aging team with a barren farm system, the Phillies desperately need an infusion of young talent -- the type of talent that left-hander Cole Hamels could certainly fetch in a trade prior to Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.
But if the Phillies plan to contend again soon, they'll need a certified ace atop their rotation. In other words, they'll need someone like Hamels, who continued his impressive season Tuesday by throwing eight shutout innings to lead the Phillies to a 6-0 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
"Going forward, you need pitching," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "And right now, he's our best."
Hamels looked as good as he ever has in July, during which he went 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA to lower his overall ERA to 2.55 -- almost a quarter of a run lower than his career-low full-season mark of 2.79, which he produced in 2012.
As a 30-year-old top-of-the-rotation stalwart with playoff experience -- Hamels is 7-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 13 postseason starts and won both the NL Championship Series and World Series MVPs in 2008, when the Phillies won their second title in franchise history -- Hamels is certainly one of the most attractive options available for teams looking to upgrade their pitching.
Still, this isn't fantasy baseball, and any team that acquired Hamels would be on the hook for the $90 million he is owed from 2015 through 2018, as well as a vesting option that could be worth up to $24 million in 2019.
Sandberg, aware of the financial implications of any deal as well as Hamels' value to the Phillies, said he'd be surprised if Hamels was dealt away this week. Hamels, in his usual thoughtful manner, said he hoped to stay with the Phillies but understood that the business of the game might have him packing his bags within the next 48 hours.
"This day and age, there's more trades made than having guys stick around (with) clubs," Hamels said. "You don't see the Derek Jeters, the Chipper Jones-type situations as much anymore. So you just have to go out and play.
"I enjoy playing the game of baseball, wherever I may be. I just want to go out there and do well for my teammates, whatever organization wants me, and especially to put on a good show for fans."
MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Phillies (RHP Kyle Kendrick, 5-10, 4.87 ERA) at Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler, 5-8, 3.64 ERA)
--RHP Kyle Kendrick will look to win consecutive starts for just the second time this year when he takes the mound for the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Kendrick earned the win last Friday, when he allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings as the Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-5. Despite the win, Kendrick's ERA remained 4.87, the highest it has been all season and the fifth-highest mark amongst National League pitchers who have thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. Over his last seven starts, Kendrick is 2-4 with a 6.70 ERA as his overall ERA has risen from 3.97. In 24 career games (18 starts) against the Mets, Kendrick is 8-8 with a 3.71 ERA. He is 0-0 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts this year. On May 31, Kendrick allowed four runs over six innings as the Phillies fell to the Mets, 5-4, in 14 innings.
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