With the likelihood of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hanley Ramirez parting ways this offseason, plenty of attention and speculation was given to the Dodgers trading for Alexei Ramirez to address the forthcoming need at shortstop.
Ramirez has one year and a team option remaining on his contract, which was going to provide flexibility moving forward — something of importance with Corey Seager’s fast rise to the Majors. However the Winter Meetings came with another solution as the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies agreed on a trade to send Jimmy Rollins to Los Angeles.
As the deal was put on pause due to the saga that unfolded in the Matt Kemp trade, some believed the Dodgers would attempt to expand on the trade to also acquire Cole Hamels. That never developed, but Rollins revealed in an interview with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian on MLB Network’s Hot Stove that Hamels wouldn’t mind joining the Dodgers:
“I spoke with Cole right before I got traded and he was excited for me. He did talk about how lovely it would be if we both ended up in LA, that would be one heck of a move right there. I know he’s a big piece if they wanted to really rebuild and get as much as they can from any team. I know it’s hard for teams to let go of their one and two prospects, and that’s I’m sure what the Phillies are asking for. For him to win, even when we were good, he still had tough times winning. So now, I definitely feel that he wants to be somewhere where he can win. So, Chavez Ravine, Southern California, is a beautiful place.”
The Phillies’ ace reportedly has drawn previous interest from the Dodgers, though they’ve been reluctant to part ways with any of their top prospects in exchange for Hamels. That hesitation coupled with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s belief that Hamels is among the game’s best pitchers has left both sides unable to come to terms on a trade.
Although trade talks may be revisited, the Dodgers will not trade for or sign another starting pitcher if general manager Farhan Zaidi is to be believed. Furthermore, a focus of the Dodgers has been to lower payroll.
Hamels is guaranteed $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.
Rollins complete interview can be seen below: