Hamels Returns Amid Unrelenting Rumors


Coming off a brilliant 2014 season, Cole Hamels has been the talk of the Hot Stove trade front all off-season. Hamels has been tied to the Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Red Sox for most of the winter.

On the day pitchers and catchers began spring training workouts, Bob Nightengale of USA Today sports delivered an article where Hamels openly spoke about the Phillies’ low chances this season and his desire to play for a winner. Nightengale quoted Hamels saying, “I just want to win… That’s all any competitor wants. And I know it’s not going to happen here.

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Further expressing his interest in a trade, Hamels would later go on, “In the grand scheme of things, we have a very small window in our lives. You understand this is going to end. The Phillies will go on forever, but we know our careers are going to end… And I want to go to a place where I can win again.

Just days later, Hamels was much more reserved in his Spring Training presser.  Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly quoted Hamels saying, “At this moment I’m a Phillie. Everybody’s in first place right now… All I can do is get ready for the season no matter what jersey is on my chest.” Hamels appeared to have no desire to further the drama he had arguably helped to create, and chose to keep a positive outlook for the upcoming Phillies season.

All I can do is get ready for the season no matter what jersey is on my chest.” ~ Hamels

However, the reality is that Hamels ranked 9th in ERA (2.46) in all of baseball last year, is universally acknowledged as one of the top starting pitchers in the game, and is set to pitch again for one of the worst projected teams in 2015. The rumors are going to swirl no matter what he says at this point.

The latest Phillies trade story to explode into the media came in just the last couple of days, when Charley Kerfeld, Ruben Amaro’s special assistant, was found scouting some of Boston’s top prospects. This obviously means that a Hamels trade is just over the horizon. All kidding aside, the Phillies are just doing their due diligence for any trade scenario that may occur.

The truth is that Ruben Amaro will not trade Hamels until he receives an offer at the Philadelphia Phillies asking price. And as yet, no one has really come close.

With a great deal of trade talk and rumor focused on him, Hamels takes the hill and begins his season today. All eyes will be on the Southern California southpaw as the Phillies and his potential suitors start the serious process of evaluating his performances.

The Phils hope that he will simply prove to everyone that he is ready to pick up right where he left off last year, as one of the game’s top lefties. Even with the rumors swirling, you have to believe that Hamels will pitch like the ace he is in the 2015 season. Phillies fans should enjoy every moment with their homegrown star pitcher, including today, because any of his starts just might be his last in red pinstripes.