The Chicago Cubs want to be serious about contending this season and in the near future, but I don’t think they should seriously think about trading for Philadelphia Phillies’ starting pitcher Cole Hamels.
The Cubs along with a number of other teams have been rumored with Hamels for several months now, but from what insiders have said, the Phillies have a very high price tag on their all-star pitcher.
Boston has been said to be the odds on favorite for Hamels services according to multiple reports, but the Red Sox are near the bottom of the AL East and are looking up at some teams that are better than they are. They desperately need a true front line starter, but will they give up any of their prospects for Hamels?
Hamels is at a good age for starting pitchers; he’s 31 years old and has nine years of experience under his belt. He’s under contract until 2019 that will pay him $23.5 million per season – there is a team option for 2020 for $20 million, at which age he’ll be 36 years old.
The money seems high, but if he were to go out into the free agent market this offseason or in last year’s, he probably would have signed a contract well above that mark. Hearing that, you’d think maybe the Cubs should start to make a serious move towards the left-handed starter, but there are things that should concern the Cubs.
Hamels, for the most part, has been a healthy enough player, but he does have a lot of innings logged with his arm. Unfortunately, the Phillies have had recent troubles with former veteran workhorses that have had their great careers halted by serious arm troubles.
First was Roy Halladay who was one of the premier pitchers in all of baseball. His career may have been cut a few years short because of shoulder issues. Recently, Cliff Lee has also had a number of issues with injuries. Lee started the season by being placed on the 60-day disabled list with a flexor tendon tear. While nothing has been confirmed, there was talk that his career could be over.
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What worries me the most about Hamels is that he’s a big fly ball pitcher and that mixed with Wrigley Field and the winds that can swoop in at any time could be a recipe for disaster.
The Cubs need another pitcher that is viewed as another No.1 by most teams; if you look at history, it will show you that the winning teams have at least two front line starters that on most teams would be an ace. Jake Arrieta is a very good pitcher, but I think on a contending team, he should be a No.3.
I would like to see the Cubs wait until the offseason and add either David Price or Jordan Zimmermann. It will cost a lot of money, probably more than what they should spend, but I think it would be better money spent.
If the Phillies went down on their price and the Cubs could steal Hammel away, I’d take the chance, but I don’t see that happening. Eventually someone will meet the Phillies demands, and hopefully it won’t be the Cubs who pay that price.