Today in Cole Hamels Trade Rumors

Phillies expected to take negotiations for their ace right down to the wire. Rangers and Dodgers still lead the pack.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

As the Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches on July 31st, there is increasing speculation among media and the fans as to which players will wear a different uniform come August 1st. This past week alone, several teams have sprung deals sending impactful players to playoff contenders — most recently, the Toronto Blue Jays are said to have acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies in exchange for shortstop José Reyes and prospects.

But so far, nothing has happened in the Cole Hamels derby. Just three days in advance of Friday’s 4:00 p.m. trade deadline, rumors are zipping through the Twittersphere and the ether, all revolving around Hamels’ future destination, if there is one. Here are what some sources have to say:

Even after pulling a blockbuster for Oakland Athletics pitcher Scott Kazmir, the Houston Astros are reportedly in the hunt for Hamels as well. Houston is 55-45 and in second place in the American League West. ESPN reporter Jerry Crasnick tweeted out the Astros news:

In addition, the Texas Rangers, who lead in pursuit of Hamels, are sifting through their farm system to determine who they could send to Philadelphia for Hamels. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that situation via Twitter:

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Phillies will want either one of the Rangers’ Jorge Alfaro or Nomar Mazara in any deal with the Rangers. The Phillies are going to want a U-Haul full of prospects for Hamels after his no-hitter on Saturday, and Heyman says the reason the Rangers are in the lead is because they can offer the most in return. However, he says, “people connected to the Rangers” aren’t so sure they’ll get Hamels, and it is unknown if they’re willing to trade either of the above-named top prospects.

The Dodgers are also in the hunt for Hamels, but have sworn against giving up either of their two top prospects, Corey Seager or Julio Urías, Heyman says. If the Dodgers were to end up bringing Hamels to Los Angeles, he would join a stretch-run pitching rotation that already includes Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, potentially giving the Dodgers three top-of-the-line pitchers for the final two months of the season.

Heyman also says the Phillies are dangling Hamels in front of the Yankees in attempts to coax the Bombers to part with their two top prospects, Luis Severino, a pitcher, and Aaron Judge, a strong hitter. However, the Yankees aren’t keen on sending either of those men down I-95. Heyman reports that the dangling could be a sign that the Phillies are so far unsatisfied with what they’re hearing from other teams. They are looking for, Heyman writes, one major prospect as part of a larger dealing of younger players.

The struggling Arizona Diamondbacks have also reportedly thrown their hat into the Hamels ring. ESPN’s Crasnick again tweeted that bit out:

Other teams in the running for Hamels include the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs — the team Hamels no-hit on Saturday — and San Francisco Giants, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. Both the Giants and Cubs are playoff contenders, with the Giants currently leading the race for the second National League wild card position with the Cubs a few games behind.

Either way, Stark says, MLB team officials think the Phillies could and likely will take Hamels talks to the last minutes leading up to the deadline. One team official who spoke to the Phillies told Stark, “I doubt it happens quick.”

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a potential Hamels trade until August 1st.

Follow @MaxGRettig on Twitter.