Cole Hamels Trade to Padres Getting Legs

by Nik Swartz | Posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2015
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Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

It’s no secret the Philadelphia Phillies want to shop any and all of their expensive toys, as the team goes down a long painful rebuild that has no end in sight. If the Phils don’t rid themselves of the few decent players they have, the team could be permanent cellar dwellers for the foreseeable future. The biggest chip the Phillies have on the roster, which literally could shift the power in any division, especially the AL West, is ace left-hander Cole Hamels.

The biggest snag the Phillies have been dealing with this offseason is their inability to grasp the difference between value and what they can actually get in return. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is a problem for the franchise for many reasons, but the biggest is his inability to build the Phillies into anything.

Amaro may be the worst GM in MLB, but this is his chance to actually do something other than take credit for a World Series he had nothing to do with. If Amaro fails to jump at this chance to trade Hamels he could ruin the Phillies franchise for decades. If he does not find a way to trade Hamels, the team’s most valuable asset, Amaro will help drive the organization down a long road of misery that will last much longer than his career, which seems to be nearing the end of a painful run in Philadelphia regardless.

Hamels has always been very low-key and respectful to the Phillies, but he has been especially quite this winter. Hamels has said and done all he can to stay out of the press and when he is asked anything about a trade he says all the right things; kudos to Hamels for that, but there is no way he wants to spend another minute on a team that is sinking faster than the Titanic.

Hamels is one of the best left-handed pitchers in MLB; he has a career 108-83 record, 1,707 strike outs, a slightly inflated 3.27 ERA and 1.142 WHIP. Not only is Hamels a World Series Champion and MVP, he has a solid 11 games in 10 post season series’ on his resume. In his 11 starts Hamels was 7-4 with a 3.09 ERA. In addition to his stats, Hamels brings a cool confidence to the mound, something that could lead the Padres starting staff for years to come.

Unlike the Phillies, the Padres have been doing everything right this offseason. The team has assembled quite an impressive squad. The team added veterans Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Derek Norris, as well as Wil Myers and Will Middlebrooks.

The new additions to the Padres fit nicely with the talented nucleus headed by Alexi Amarista and Jedd Gyorko. What will put the Padres over the top and into legitimate NL West powerhouse talk is a top-notch pitcher like Hamels.

The Padres new owners, brothers Kevin and Brian O’Malley, are the sons of former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley. The brothers know a thing or two about winning and winning in Southern California. A trade for Hamels will cement the O’Malley’s and the Padres as a serious baseball team for the first time since the late 90’s.

This trade makes so much sense for so many reasons it’s scary, which also makes Padres and Phillies fans worry it will not happen. If the Padres do trade for Hamels, they will have beaten the hated Dodgers before the season even starts, which would feel good for a franchise so long removed from relevance.

This trade is not as far from reality as some may think, and it has started to gain more traction in recent days.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Padres remain in hot pursuit of Hamels. Although the deal is not yet close to being done, the two teams are still talking, which is a very good sign for Padres and Phillies fans. The player who the Phillies have coveted most, Wil Myers, has been the biggest hurdle holding up a trade that could change the course of both of these organizations for many seasons to come.

For all the moves the Padres have made this offseason the team has retained the bulk of its highest-rated prospects. This depth is what will give the Padres the punch to make a major move for an ace like Hamels. Even though the Phillies are asking a King’s Ransom for Hamels, the Padres are the one team who can make this trade a reality.

The pieces the Phillies could get in this deal would help the floundering team this season, even if they cannot get the Padres to toss in Myers, the Phillies need to make this trade.

The Padres are willing to part with RHP Matt Wisler, who is rated as the Padres top pitching prospect by Baseball Prospectus. Wisler is ready to contribute to a major league rotation in 2015 and, along with Philadelphia’s first-round pick in the 2014 first-year player draft, Aaron Nola, could form the front end of the team’s rotation for years to come.

The Phils would also get San Diego’s top outfield prospect, Hunter Renfroe, who may not be ready for prime time yet, but the 22-year-old looks the part of a future All-Star in right field and is an instant upgrade from any player the Phillies have on the major or minor league level.

Renfroe’s tremendous raw power would play well in Philadelphia, while his strong, accurate throwing arm and ability to cover a lot of ground in right field gives the Phillies the foundation upon which to build their future outfield configuration.

The final piece to this trade would be prized second baseman Taylor Lindsey, the Padres top infield prospect. He may need a bit more time in the minors but he is close to being major league-ready. Lindsey is a contact hitter with some pop in his bat, he’s got enough chops defensively to hold down the keystone and serve as the heir apparent to Chase Utley in Philadelphia.

As for Hamels, we know what he brings to the table. As Heyman notes, “San Diego is one of the few clubs to which he cannot block a trade, so the Padres could acquire him without having to add extra incentives (like guaranteeing his 2019 team option) to facilitate a deal.”

The Padres have done so well this offseason and have already assembled a solid team that is leaps and bounds better than any in recent memory. Now it’s time for the new ownership to show they are truly committed to winning, not only California and the NL West, but also a championship.

There is no better way for the Padres to hit a grand salami this offseason than bringing Hamels home to lead MLB’s biggest surprise team in 2015. As the days creep closer to Spring Training the whispers have turned into talk and the talk could change the landscape of the NL West for years to come.

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Nik Swartz
About the Author

Graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Psychology, currently a counselor in Philadelphia. I started writing professionally in 1999 as the Penn State beat writer for the Milton Standard/Lewisburg Daily Journal in Pa. I have worked at eight daily newspapers as a Sports Writer/Editor - covering all high school sports, the NFL, professional baseball and professional hockey. A few sites I've written and/or contributed articles for include Rant Sports, Bleacher Report, FanSided and Pro Football Spot. Follow Nik on Twitter @Sweetnesz13.

  • LOL….not trading Hamels won’t put the Phillies in the Cellar for decades! Come on, man! I like the insight you provided on the possible prospects the Phils would get from the Padres, but I think you over did it a little with the necessity of trading Hamels!

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