The Latest on the Cole Hamels Trade Rumors

Hamels could be headed to Chicago. Unless he goes to Los Angeles or Texas or Houston or Boston … or somewhere else.

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

We are just eight days away from the baseball non-waiver trade deadline. Cole Hamels, the best player on a struggling Phillies team, is a prime candidate to be traded. Teams are desperate to get him cheap, as evidenced by their front office types leaking to the press all season that the Phillies have been asking too much for him.

Fortunately, the Phillies have stood firm for once. But with a bunch of teams looking to make pushes for the playoffs, trade talks are apparently heating up as we get close to the wire. By July 31st, the Phillies 2008 World Series MVP could be on another team.

But where? One possibility is Chicago. CSN Chicago reports the Cubs are in discussions with the Phillies about Hamels, but didn’t mention which players the Phillies are interested in. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports the Cubs are looking to trade a pair of young infielders, 22-year-old Javier Baez and 25-year-old Starlin Castro, in the deal.

Then again, Hamels could be going to the Astros. The Houston Chronicle says the Astros are one of three or four teams in serious trade talks with the Phillies. But the talks aren’t that advanced, as Hamels would have to agree to waive his limited no-trade clause to go to Houston.

Then again, the Dallas Morning News reports the Astros are bidding against the Rangers, who are four games under .500 and in desperate need of pitching. Hamels would not have to approve a trade to Texas.

Stark also reports the Dodgers are a possibility, but that they’re more interested in a rent-a-pitcher than the type of prospect haul that a pitcher with several years left on his deal like Hamels would require. Stark says the Phillies want 21-year-old shortstop Corey Seager (already in AAA) or the Dodgers’ best pitching prospect, Julio Urias, in the deal.

Stark also writes of another possible landing spot:

The Red Sox sent one of GM Ben Cherington‘s most trusted assistants, Allard Baird, to see Hamels’ start on Sunday. And the minute Hamels left the game, Baird left the ballpark. So could they have painted a more vivid portrait of what they’re shopping for than that?

“I still think the Red Sox have the most pieces to make this deal of anyone,” said an NL exec. “But I don’t know how aggressive they are.”

Then again, the Phillies actually don’t need to trade Hamels right now. They are bad this year, they are going to be bad next year, and they can trade him in the offseason or in-season in 2016. It’s going to be a long week of rumors.

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