The Philadelphia Phillies, as you know, haven't played as well as they would've liked through the season's first half, and Cole Hamels, as you know, is a pending free agent. Contract extension negotiations between the two sides haven't progressed all that far and so one was free to wonder whether the Phillies might take the bold step of making Hamels available on the midseason trade market.
The reported answer? Sort of!
The Phillies dropped a bomb on the trade market when they recently began making calls to see about trade interest in Cole Hamels, CBSSports.com has learned.
Other clubs think the Phillies would have a really tough time getting anything close to their asking trade price of 4-5 prospects for Hamels— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 2, 2012
Cole Hamels could be traded for. Literally anybody could be traded for at the right price, and the right price for Cole Hamels right now is absurd. Nobody will pay that price, so Hamels is available and not. For now.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro insists the goal is still to sign Hamels long-term. Presumably the Phillies aren't finished trying to do that, even if Hamels might think a little different about the Phillies' situation than he did some months back. Amaro would like to lock Hamels up, and previous reports have suggested the issue is not money but contract length. At the same time, it would be stupid of Amaro not to measure market demand for his ace lefty. There's no benefit to making Hamels completely untouchable so the latest news in the Hamels saga is hardly news at all.
Cole Hamels could be traded for! At his current price, he will not be traded for. His price could come down as the deadline approaches, but the Phillies aren't going to sell Hamels for less than they want to just yet.