Despite their denial, they continue to be linked to an All-Star starting pitcher from the NL East. Since the All-Star break last season, the Dodgers and Cole Hamels have been a popular rumor. With a few top prospects in the organization and the ability to acquire a game-changing starter, the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies seem to be a perfect match.
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the two teams continue to talk, but aren’t the only ones:
Hamels’ partial no-trade clause allows him to block trades to all but eight teams. And four of those eight teams — the Padres, Rangers, Dodgers and Cardinals — are said by sources to have stayed in contact with the Phillies on Hamels of late.
With the San Diego Padres recently signing right-hander James Shields, that could lessen their desire to make a move. The Phillies could just decide to hold on to their former World Series MVP and wait for an injury or desperate contender to bring them a bigger deal. It appears that the biggest hurdle for a deal has been the Phillies’ asking price and willingness to eat some of Hamel’s salary.
Dodgers’ general manager Farhan Zaidi recently expressed his desire to keep the team’s top prospects, which could hamper a potential deal. As it stands, the team has a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, but the back end of the rotation has durability issues. If the quintet can stay healthy, they will compete to be one of the best rotations in the game.
As the season nears, it appears less and less likely that a deal for Hamels will be made.