January is here and the hot stove has all but cooled down around baseball, as minor-league deals and role players are the main topic of news.
Big-name starting pitchers Max Scherzer and James Shields are still available and should be signing deals in the coming weeks in time for pitchers and catchers to report in February. One intriguing possibility that still exists for a few teams is a potential deal for left-hander Cole Hamels. The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly been asking for a king’s ransom for the 31-year-old.
It seemed like talks for Hamels had ended, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that there still might be interest:
There have been no talks this month between the Phillies and Red Sox, according to a major league source. The Red Sox will not part with Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart. The Phillies would need to get one of the two for Hamels to make a deal they feel comfortable with, and the Red Sox haven’t budged. Meanwhile, the Phillies are getting sniffs from the West Coast on Hamels.
The most likely sources of interest would be the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, as both teams have engaged in talks for Hamels this winter. There were rumors that the Padres were interested in flipping recently acquired outfield Wil Myers, but those rumors never amounted to much. The Dodgers also thought about Hamels, but were not willing to part with two of their top three prospects. Newly acquired Jimmy Rollins even said that Hamels was open to coming to Los Angeles.
Hamels is a three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP that has a career .327 ERA in nine seasons. Last year he went 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts. The left-hander has made at least 30 starts in seven straight seasons, reaching 200 innings in six of those years.
It seems unlikely that Hamels makes his way to Los Angeles, but the reports of interest mean he is on their radar.