Phillies, Cole Hamels Have Mutual Interest for 2020 Reunion

Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cole Hamels’ last start with the Phillies may not be his no-hitter after all, as the two sides reportedly have mutual interest for a reunion.

More than 1,500 days have passed since the Philadelphia Phillies dealt 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player Cole Hamels (along with southpaw reliever Jake Diekman) to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Matt Harrison, Jake Thompson and Nick Williams.

With Eickhoff recently electing free agency, only Williams remains, all the while even his future with the Phillies being in serious doubt.

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The soon-to-be 36-year-old Hamels appeared in 13 postseason games in red pinstripes from 2007 to 2011. Since, the southpaw has appeared in a combined four such contests with the Texas Rangers (2015, 2016) and Chicago Cubs (2018), while the Phillies have appeared in none.

It appeared to be a storybook ending for the then-three-time All-Star, to have his last-ever start with the Phillies being a no-hitter at the historic Wrigley Field.

The history books could soon be rewritten, however, as the free-agent Hamels and the Phillies reportedly have mutual interest on a reunion in 2020 under new manager Joe Girardi, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury.

“There’s been a longstanding desire within the organization, especially up to the ownership level, to bring back Cole Hamels and have him finish his career here,” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury said on a recent At the Yard podcast. “I know Cole has similar desires.”

Hamels enters free agency coming off of a 2019 season in which he went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.391 WHIP over 27 starts with the Chicago Cubs. And, over the past four seasons combined with the Rangers and Cubs, the San Diego, California, native has gone 42-30 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.289 WHIP and 636-251 strikeout-to-walk ratio spanning 115 starts and 681 innings.

While not nearly his vintage self, in particular his 2011 season when he went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA, Hamels could still be serviceable for the 2020 Phillies, who this offseason are looking to drastically rebuild their starting rotation to complement existing pieces in Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta.

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“He’s still pretty effective,” Salisbury continues. “At his age, he could still be effective, if healthy. He’s no longer than 1A or 2 … he’s probably at the back-half of the rotation.”

While mutual interest may exist between Hamels and the Phillies, Salisbury notes that there are still other teams that will have interest in his services, and perhaps would be willing to offer a more lucrative deal to the 14-year veteran. According to Hamels’ agent, John Boggs, the left-hander has already drawn significant, early interest; Boggs has already been in contact with 13 teams.’s Jon Paul Morosi writes:

"Hamels was born and raised in San Diego, and the Padres are among the most aggressive teams in the starting-pitching market. The Angels — the Padres’ nearest Major League neighbor — are in the same category.Hamels no longer resides in San Diego, but Boggs said Hamels has given consideration to playing in his hometown."

Salisbury thinks Hamels is a “very viable candidate to be signed by the Phillies, but there’s other teams that are going to be on him as well,” Salisbury says. “His agent, John Boggs, was [as the GM meetings] speaking to teams. Cole recently was quoted as saying he’d take a one-year deal. But, it’s his agent’s job to go out there and seek more than a one year deal right now.”

Salisbury concludes, “the Phillies need pitching [and] Cole is definitely on a guy on their list. I don’t know that it’s a slam dunk, though, that he returns.”

“I think that needs to play out a little bit more this winter.”