Phillies Reportedly Stop Entertaining Trade Offers for Cole Hamels, Instensify Negotiations

ESPN’s Jayson Stark says that the Phils have intensified the pace of their contract negotiations with free agent-to-be Cole Hamels as the trade deadline approaches. Stark reports that an official from one of the franchises that had been talking with the Phils about the pitcher’s availability says that Philly has pretty much stopped listening to trade offers and focused their efforts on inking Hamels to a long-term extension. He says that some teams have expressed more interest in Victorino, Rollins, Blanton, and/or Polanco as the Phils will look to unload some salaries to be able to sign Hamels but stay under the league’s $178 million luxury tax threshold. [ESPN]