Cole Hamels reportedly a Chicago Cubs offseason trade target
After failing to agree on terms for a deal in August to acquire Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, multiple reports indicate that the Chicago Cubs will, once again, be targeting the southpaw via trade this offseason, as the team looks to add a dominant ace to the front of the starting rotation ahead of the 2015 season.
Howard Eskin of FOX 29 in Philadelphia initially reported the Phillies’ interest in looking for suitors for their prized left-hander, and since then, it has also been reported that the Boston Red Sox are a front-runner for Hamels’ services. The Star-Ledger detailed the Phillies’ interest in unloading significant amounts of payroll this offseason in a recent piece.
"The Phillies have been rumored to be open to moving Hamels for some time, but it appears this offseason might be different. If the team does undergo a change in ownership and direction as the report indicates, having Hamels on a team that will potentially be rebuilding doesn’t make much sense."
The veteran left-hander is still owed $110 million, and for the Phillies to unload that kind of deal, it would likely take an enticing prospect package that could include one of the Cubs’ highly-touted infield talents – Javier Baez or Addison Russell. Hamels has made at least 30 starts in every season since 2008, averaging 223 innings pitched per year en route to a 108-83 career record.
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Last season, the 30-year-old Hamels figured it all out, despite a .500 record, pitching to the tune of a 2.46 ERA – a career-best. However, despite his success as an individual, the Phillies floundered, going 73-89, finishing 23 games back of the division champion Washington Nationals. With several aging veterans on their team commanding massive amounts of payroll, Philadelphia seems to be ready to reset, gaining young talent in exchange for players such as Hamels.
Boston is just as much of a likely destination for the left-hander, as the two sides have been linked at multiple points during recent years. The Red Sox finished dead-last in the American League East this season, at 71-91, and are expected to be very active this offseason in hopes of bouncing back in 2015.
Both Chicago and Boston have also been tied to former Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who was traded from Boston to the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline this season and is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the postseason.