With the Los Angeles Dodgers now believed to be in the hunt for free agent Jon Lester, they have also been linked to Cole Hamels, whom they would need to acquire via a trade.
The Philadelphia Phillies were said to be doing their homework on Dodger prospects and according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, sources said a trade for Hamels would cost the Dodgers either Corey Seager or Joc Pederson:
The Phillies would want one of the Dodgers’ top position prospects, shortstop Corey Seager or outfielder Joc Pederson, in any Hamels deal, according to major-league sources.
If reports prior to last season’s trade deadline are correct, the Dodgers were told a similar message when they called the Phillies to inquire on the left-hander. While Ned Colletti was the general manager at the time, there’s been little reason to believe the new regime would be willing to part ways with Seager, Pederson and for that matter, Julio Urias.
Aside from the talent the Phillies are reported as seeking in exchange for Hamels, the soon-to-be 31 year old certainly comes with a significant financial commitment — though if you asked Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr., he’d likely argue it’s warranted as he believes Hamels is among the group of elite pitchers.
Hamels is guarnateed $96 million through the 2018 season and his contract includes a $20 million team option for 2019 that vests at $24 million should he pitch a combined 400 innings in 2017-2018 (with 200 innings coming in 2018) and avoid the disabled list with a shoulder or elbow injury at the end of 2018.
While trading for or signing Lester comes at a significant cost for a team believed to be interested in lowering payroll, the Dodgers may be in a position that requires them to invest in a starting pitcher.
Zack Greinke, who has given the Dodgers’ their one-two punch at the front end of the staff over the last two seasons, can opt out of his contract after the 2015 season. Adding Hamels, Lester, or another pitcher of their caliber to the staff would further solidify the Dodgers’ rotation even if just for one season.
The Dodgers previously balked at the Phillies’ asking price, but they may give trading for Hamels more thought if they’re to lose out on Lester.