Could Phillies bring back Cole Hamels as a player-coach?

Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

The Phillies could consider this unique Cole Hamels reunion

There is no secret that former Philadelphia Phillies star left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels is near the end of his playing career. The soon-to-be 37-year-old made just one start for the Atlanta Braves during the 2020 season, battling several injuries along the way.

Hamels enters free agency for the second consecutive offseason and has not hinted he wants to retire just yet. Both the Phillies and the 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player reportedly expressed mutual interest in a reunion last offseason, shortly after the hire of Joe Girardi as manager.

Hamels needs a new team. The Phillies need a veteran starter to fill one of the current vacancies in the rotation, complementing Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin. Not to mention, the Phils are without a pitching coach, as Bryan Price surprisingly stepped down just one year into his three-year pact.

With the Phillies and seemingly all other teams in Major League Baseball not willing to spend as much as they would in a normal, non-pandemic-affected offseason, perhaps the organization could bring back their former southpaw ace in a unique way — as a player-coach, both effectively replacing Jake Arrieta in the rotation, as well as Price on Girardi’s coaching staff.

The Philly Voice’s Evan Macy speculates a 2021 deal for Hamels could be in the range of $8 million; perhaps, the Phillies could throw an extra million dollars Hamels’ way, assuming he accepts the additional pitching coach responsibility.

The Phils appear to be in no rush to replace general manager Matt Klentak, not to mention Price, nor even Jim Gott as bullpen coach. Bringing back Hamels as a player-coach, if he is interested, would be a cost-effective way to “kill two birds with one stone.”

Perhaps, Hamels becoming the Phillies pitching coach would be a nice transition for him as well. He would land a full-time role for once his playing days are over — likely sooner than later — in the city where he still calls home.

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