The Padres have been extremely active over the past week, completing one trade for Matt Kemp, and finalizing another for Wil Myers. Now could they try to bring Cole Hamels home to San Diego?
Hamels is a San Diego native, born and raised. He attended Rancho Bernadino High School there, and was drafted out of that school by the Phillies as the 17th overall pick in the 2002 MLB Draft.
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There has been some speculation that this is indeed an aim for the Padres. Putting Hamels at the top of a rotation that already includes Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, and Tyson Ross would enable them to match up with LA and San Francisco.
For his end, Hamels has commented recently on a possible move, saying that contending is important, as is home: “my family is from the West Coast. My wife’s family is from the Midwest…whatever city is going after winning, I think that could definitely change every sort of perspective and every desire because that trumps almost anything is winning.”
The Padres deals for Kemp and Myers underscore that they are absolutely meeting his “going after winning” part, and with San Diego his hometown, they already meet that criteria as well.
With the Kemp deal finalized, it was expected to be a formality that the trade of Jimmy Rollins to Los Angeles would be immediately announced. One of the pieces going to LA from San Diego from that deal, pitching prospect Zach Eflin, was to be flipped to the Phils.
So now that the Kemp deal has indeed been finalized, what is the holdup with announcing the Rollins deal as well?
Could there possibly be talks going on between the Phillies and Padres involving Hamels going home? Do the Padres have the prospect pieces to make such a deal happen? Would the Phils pull the trigger on such a deal?
“my family is from the West Coast…whatever city is going after winning” ~ Cole Hamels
In previous talks with the Red Sox and Cubs, the Phillies have talked about those teams very top prospects. With all the moving parts from both the Kemp and the Myers trades, the Padres still would seem to possess the players to get this done.
First, they could actually ship an MLB-ready outfielder to the Phillies. The addition of Myers and Kemp to a group that already included Seth Smith, Rymer Liriano, Carlos Quentin, and Will Venable would make that possible.
Then in the prospect area, they could put together a nice package that would likely have to include 3 of their top 4 prospects: catcher Austin Hedges, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, and pitchers Matt Wisler and Max Fried.
The bottom line would seem to be that the Padres do have the pieces and the motivation to get a deal for Hamels completed. The Phillies would, in such a deal, get the kind of package in return that they’ve been saying publicly it would take.
So far, every time a Cole Hamels trade rumor has popped up, and it seemed the smoke was so thick that there must be a fire, turned out it was just a thick layer of fog. Could this finally be the perfect trade match for the Phillies?