Cole Hamels

Source: Phillies' approach with Cole Hamels trade changing (slightly)

Rob Bradford
May 31, 2015 - 7:51 pm

According to a major league source familiar with the Phillies' way of thinking, Philadelphia recently has altered its approach in regards to dealing Cole Hamels ... somewhat. Per the source, the Phillies now are willing to take on more of Hamels' remaining salary than they had been earlier in the season. Philly hasn't, however, backed off its demand for the kind of premier talent potential trade partners don't currently seem comfortable giving up. Hamels is making $22.5 million this season and $67.5 million over the next three years. The 31-year-old lefty also carries a club option for $20 million in 2019. The Red Sox are among the teams Hamels would need to approach a trade to, potentially resulting in the pitcher requesting his option year be picked up. Hamels, who leads the National League in innings pitched (74 1/3), has totaled a 2.91 ERA over 11 starts this season, with opponents hitting just .208 against him. As of late, he has been one of the best pitchers in the majors, managing a 1.69 ERA over his last five starts (37 1/3 innings, 7 earned runs). Both the Red Sox and Phillies continue to scout one another's major and minor league teams. Philadelphia Charley Kerfeld, a special assistant to Philly general manager Ruben Amaro, was on hand for the Sox' recent three-game series in Minneapolis. The Red Sox' biggest issue continues to be fixing their ailing offense. But finding solutions for the lineup would seem to be challenging considering the commitments they've made to both high-priced veterans and promising young talent at every position. A veteran anchor added to the starting staff might make more sense than ever, allowing some of the younger, less proven starters to develop. It's the same dynamic the Red Sox previously experienced when promoting promising young pitchers over the past decade. The likes of Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey served as the top of the rotation options, allowing younger hurlers to ease into expectations. An aggressive move for a player like Hamels at this point -- with the Red Sox entering June seven games below .500 -- might also be more of a need for the organization than in the offseason, or coming out of spring training.