OK so Brett from @BleacherNation pretty much beat everyone to the punch when it comes to his Cole Hamels write up and it of course as always it is a great read (find here). But instead of writing essential the same piece because honestly I feel he is 100% right on I am going to analyze what a possible trade could look like.
Trading with the Phillies tidbits
· The Phillies are going to want the Cubs to take on Hamels entire salary.
· The Phillies are going to want top prospects and are not likely to take less than their trade deadline asking price.
· The Cubs are not going to trade someone like Edwin Jackson to the Phillies.
· The Phillies are highly unlikely to acquire guys like Castro, Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Rizzo, Wood, Arrieta, Olt, etc.. because they are on the 40 man roster and are subject to waivers as well. All those guys would likely be claimed by the Rockies or Dbacks before the Phillies had a chance to claim them in a potential deal.
· The Cubs are not going to trade Kris Bryant for Cole Hamels. They are also unlikely to give up a uber prospect for him.
· The Phillies are unlikely to deal Cole Hamels unless they get exactly what they want.
· The window to strike a deal is small and so is the list of players which again makes this deal unlikely but still possible.
What the Phillies are looking for
· Outfielders: Possibly the Phillies biggest need is young outfielders and is rumored they were seeking them in trade talks that included Marlon Byrd and yes… Cole Hamels.
· Catcher: The Phillies have no catching depth in the minors so acquiring at catcher might be the best thing for them.
· Starting Pitching: You have an aging Cliff Lee plus if the Cubs do deal for Hamels they are going to need to fill up that rotation with someone.
· First baseman: Someone is going to have to eventually replace Ryan Howard and it maybe sooner than later.
What the Cubs have to offer
· Outfielders: All the sudden it seems like the Cubs could have a lot of outfielders especially if they sign R. Castillo, keep Alcantara in CF, move Bryant to RF, and put Soler in LF. This of course if not even factoring in prospects Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora. So the Cubs have the outfielders the Phillies drool over but the Phillies will not be receiving Alcantara or Soler because they are on the 40 man. Plus I have heard Bryant is basically off limits. Kyle Schwarber to me could be a candidate but he hits left-handed which is something that the Cubs sorely need in their system. That leaves us with former 1st round pick Albert Almora. Almora seems right now to be the odd man out. His struggles do not help but like many fans and scouts I think he turns it around. He has the intangibles every team looks for which includes his off the charts character and leadership ratings. But in the grand scheme of things I think if you had to deal a top outfield prospect for Hamels he is the one you deal.
· Catcher: The Cubs do not have top catching depth and Castillo is not going anywhere so the chances of the Cubs and Phillies being a match here are slim.
· Starting Pitching: Again the Cubs do not have a lot of top pitching but there could be a match if they decided to include guys like Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, Rob Zastryzny, etc… Like catching I do not seem pitching as a primary piece in a deal for Hamels.
· First baseman: Former prospects Rock Shoulders or Dustin Geiger could be of interest to the Phillies but Dan Vogelbach takes the cake here. The Philles GM Amaro loves big boppers and Dan fits the profile he is looking for. Dan has bounced back here of late hitting .269 with a .359 OBP and 12 homers. He is starting to look like a guy who could get called up to AA soon.
Although a deal for Cole Hamels does not look likely from either team I think there is the slight possibility a deal could get done. After what is said above I think this is a deal worth considering for both teams.
Phillies Receive: Albert Almora, Dan Vogelbach, and a guy like Jeimer Candelario/Jacob Hammemann (top 20ish prospect who does not have a spot on the team).
Cubs Receive: Cole Hamels (and pays his entire salary)
In this deal the Phillies shore up two spots for the future with Almora in CF and Vogelbach at 1st base. They then get another guy who could also fit on their roster in the next two years. Almora is not ranked lower than 35thon baseball prospect list and Vogelbach is ranked just out of the top 100. The Phillies should be intrigued by the chance to not only unload that huge salary which would make them players for this great crop of starting pitchers in free agency next season but they get a top 35 prospect in all of baseball as well? That is intriguing, very intriguing to them.
The Cubs would get their Jason Werth (thanks Tom Loxas) and they deal from their surplus of talent to get him so the loss of Almora and Vogelbach does not hurt as bad because of that depth. This will allow the Cubs also to concentrate on only acquiring one FA pitching this offseason which is far more likely to happen than trying to sign two FA pitchers which has been eluded to here and other sites.
But like I said and what many have said as well; a deal is unlikely to happen but to me a deal like I laid out could make it a little more probable than originally thought.
Until Next Time…