Cubs, Phillies must complete Cole Hamels trade
Throughout a majority of the 2014 season, the Philadelphia Phillies were speculated as perfect trade partners with the Chicago Cubs. Phillies fans have been anticipating the firing of Ruben Amaro Jr. for awhile now, while also awaiting a rebuilding effort that would create a long-term successful team. With the lack of any real staff ace, many Cubs fans would be right in drooling over left-handed veteran ace in Cole Hamels.
It’s time for Philadelphia to begin unloading contracts and rebuilding from the very bottom. And this process begins with the veterans. For the Cubs, it’s time to start adding major pieces to the prospects making their way to the Friendly Confines.
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At age 30, Hamels enters his tenth season in the majors and still is in his prime. The left-hander just had arguably his most impressive season of his career. Despite a 9-9 record, Hamels finished with the lowest ERA of his career at an incredible 2.46. He also allowed just 56 earned runs and 14 home runs in 204-plus innings of work.
Hamels would provide crucial leadership and playoff experience to the youngest club in baseball. An overlooked aspect to his game is consistency. There were many instances during the season in which he was able to compile three or four straight wins. The southpaw is reliable and can go deep into ball games; typically at least seven innings.
The Phillies are in desperate need of youth. In fact, the team has nearly the oldest roster currently in the major leagues. Chicago – as noted – has the youngest, and also has arguably the best farm system in baseball.
Top prospect and third baseman Kris Bryant had an outstanding season in the minors. With the Tennessee Smokies, Bryant hit a stunning .355 with a .702 slugging percentage, launching 22 home runs. After his promotion to Triple-A Iowa, the slugger hit .295 with 21 long balls. While Philadelphia may ask for a prospect like Bryant, whether or not Chicago would even consider parting with him remains to be seen.
Following Philadelphia’s past season, the team’s outfielders were ultimately exposed. The position lacked depth and defense. Besides Marlon Byrd, there was shortage of power and consistency. Domonic Brown hit just .235 with 10 home runs and his fielding was inconsistent, at best. And while Ben Revere provides speed and is capable of getting on base, he had trouble locating and fielding balls, as well as throwing from far distances. In addition, Revere had just 28 RBIs on the year.
Bryant’s fellow prospects, outfielders Albert Almora or Jorge Soler could potentially fill that void. The two are both right-handers; an added bonus for a lineup loaded with left-handed hitters. Solar made his big league debut this season with Chicago, hitting nearly .300 in limited time with the Cubs, while Almora is yet to play a game above Double-A, where he hit just .234 this season.
For the Phillies to begin their reconstruction and the Cubs to take a leap forward from rebuilding into contention, this deal must be executed properly and immediately.