MLB Trade Rumors: Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers starting pitcher and former Philadelphia Phillie, apparently would like to return to Philadelphia, telling Philly writer Scott Lauber that a trade to the Phillies would be “a blessing.” Hamels also calls being with the Phillies on August 5, 2018, when the 2008 championship Phillies team is honored, “the perfect scenario.”
Hamels is widely believed to be on the trade block, and is one of the better starting pitchers seen as likely to move. Complicating the Rangers’ efforts to get a good return, however, is that Hamels is making over $20 million in 2018, has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for 2019, and has a 20 team no trade clause that limits where he can go. Some of the teams that would seem to be most interested in Hamels, such as the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Milwaukee Brewers, are on that list, and thus Hamels can veto a deal there. He cannot, however, veto a trade to the Phillies.
The Rangers are going to look to maximize their return, and will likely be willing to pay down some of what Hamels is owed in order to get a better prospect package back. The Rangers could also shop Hamels to teams like the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs (who are weeks away from getting Yu Darvish back, per reports yesterday), who are also not on Hamels’ no trade clause. If those teams won’t bite, however, and if Hamels won’t approve a deal to one of the teams on his no-trade list because he wants to return to Philadelphia, Texas could be faced with a choice between sending him to Philadelphia for whatever they want to part with, or holding onto him through the end of the season.