The Phillies are one of 20 teams who attended Cole Hamels’ showcase.
The Philadelphia Phillies might have the homegrown advantage in the Cole Hamels competition, but will they emerge victorious?
On Friday, Hamels hosted a showcase in Texas that was attended by twenty teams. He threw two bullpen sessions, each consisting of thirty pitches.
The Phillies were in attendance, of course, as well as the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every team walked away interested or even impressed. But it’s worth noting that some of the best teams in baseball were in attendance. A sign of the market, a sign of respect for the former World Series MVP, or genuine interest?
The 37-year-old is certainly a seasoned veteran of the game at this point. He’s pitched in the Majors for 15 years, started 422 games, and has thrown 2,698.0 innings. He’s a four-time All-Star and World Series champion, and now he wants to prove he still has something left in the tank.
Above all, Hamels could provide the stability that a lot of teams are looking for at the deadline. Injuries have abounded through MLB this season due to the substance ban, length of the season after a shortened 2020, COVID-19, to name a few of the problems teams have faced this year. Hamels has made at least 20 starts in all but three seasons of his career, at least 30 starts in 10 of them.
While a Hamels homecoming would certainly be the storybook trade deadline move – and an upgrade from certain members of the rotation – the bullpen should be Dave Dombrowski’s number-one priority. They lead the Majors with 23 blown saves; the Dodgers became the only other team to hit 20 this week. Of Hamels’ 424 career games, only one was a relief appearance. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t try to sign him, only that Dombrowski has a lot of work to do now that they reportedly plan to be “aggressive” at the deadline.
Which teams are the Phillies’ competition for Cole Hamels?
Expect the Mets and Dodgers to both be interested in Hamels. Jacob deGrom is on the Injured List again, and the Mets are now clinging to a two-game lead in the NL East. With Trevor Bauer on administrative leave and the Dodgers presumably looking to replace him, Hamels would be an affordable option with immense upside, as opposed to the high return someone like Max Scherzer would command. Besides, the rumors have shifted to the Houston Astros being interested in Scherzer, and the Nationals not even interested in dealing him.
On the other hand, is Hamels enough for the reigning champs? The Dodgers are without Clayton Kershaw (forearm inflammation), Dustin May (Tommy John), and Bauer (sexual assault investigation). They’re only two games out of first in the NL West, but Hamels is only one man, and a 37-year-old who only pitched in one game in 2020 at that. He’s been a warrior throughout his career, but he’d need significant time to ramp up before he’d be able to pitch deep into games. The Dodgers need a lot more than just him.
At this point, twenty teams is too many to hone in on which team will land Hamels, or how many even walked away interested.