Jul 172012
 
Cole Hamels 2

With the Rangers mentioned as a potential suitor for just about every Tom, Dick and Harry that may or may not be on the block, we’re going to start breaking down some of the primary players involved.

Why not start with the big fish!

Colbert Michael “Hollywood” Hamels

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cole Hamels

The Player

Hamels is the top pitcher on the trade market in my opinion with the Brewers’ Zack Greinke a close second.  The Phillies are currently making a last-ditch effort to lock the 28 year-old southpaw up long-term with a rumored offer of around 5-6 years at $100-120 million overall. However, most believe that if a long-term agreement is not reached, the Phillies will be eager to trade Hamels away and get something for him, given the unknowns of the open market in free agency and the current standing of the team in the NL East (14 games back).

Hamels debuted in 2006 for the Phillies after being a highly-touted prospect in their farm system since joining the organization as a 1st round draft pick in 2002.  Currently in his 7th year at the major league level, Hamels is a 3 time All-Star who has finished in the top 6 of the NL Cy Young voting twice in his career (6th in 2007 and 5th last year).

The Measurables

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G CG IP H HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP SO/BB
2006 22 PHI NL 9 8 4.08 23 0 132.1 117 19 48 145 115 1.247 3.02
2007 23 PHI NL 15 5 3.39 28 2 183.1 163 25 43 177 135 1.124 4.12
2008 24 PHI NL 14 10 3.09 33 2 227.1 193 28 53 196 141 1.082 3.70
2009 25 PHI NL 10 11 4.32 32 2 193.2 206 24 43 168 97 1.286 3.91
2010 26 PHI NL 12 11 3.06 33 1 208.2 185 26 61 211 133 1.179 3.46
2011 27 PHI NL 14 9 2.79 32 3 216.0 169 19 44 194 136 0.986 4.41
2012 28 PHI NL 11 4 3.07 18 0 126.0 107 14 30 125 129 1.087 4.17
7 Yrs 85 58 3.36 199 10 1287.1 1140 155 322 1216 125 1.136 3.78
162 Game Avg. 15 10 3.36 34 2 220 195 27 55 208 125 1.136 3.78
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/17/2012.
  •  Looking at similar players, Hamels compares well with Jered Weaver, and at the age of 28, should still have many of his best years still ahead of him.
  • He currently has a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.6 on the season, which puts him right outside of the top 10 in MLB.  For reference, Matt Harrison has a 4.1 WAR on the season.
  • His 11 wins on the season is even more impressive, considering the Phillies poor record on the season of 40-51.
  • His 125 K’s on the season is just 15 back of MLB leader Felix Hernandez, good for 6th overall.
  • His K/BB ratio (4.167) ranks him 10th in MLB…the MLB leader is our very own Colby Lewis at 7.5.
  • He’s making $15M this season…not too shabby.

 Could Cole be a Ranger?

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cole Hamels

I’ve long been of the belief that the Rangers would make a hard push for Hamels in free agency after the season.  It never entered my mind that he would be on the block at this point in the season, based on the assumption that the Phillies would have been more competitive this season and need to retain his services – long-term contract or not.

As far as what it would take from the Rangers to land Hamels…word is that the Phillies initial asking price is pretty steep as they are looking for 4-5 top prospects in return for Hamels.  Let’s keep in mind that Hamels is only under contract through the end of this season, so assuming a long-term agreement isn’t reached with whoever trades for his services, he’s potentially nothing more than a 3 month rental.

All indications point towards the primary player in return being Mike Olt, then fill in from there with a few more prospects.

The deal is similar in magnitude to the Cliff Lee trade from 2010, where Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan were both top 10 prospects in the Rangers organization, so figure it’s going to take something similar to land Hamels.

Lee turned out to be nothing more than a 3 month rental, but I think we can all agree that none of us would go back on that trade now…even if Smoak or Beavan were to improve upon their current performance…2010 was just that magical.

All this said, I’d say there is a very slim chance that the Rangers end up dealing for Hamels due to these reasons:

  • The Phillies offer (expected in next day or two) – Hamels could accept the offer if it’s as big as rumored and that would be the end of it.
  • Price tag – while I don’t think Olt is untouchable, as many have labeled him as such(and as Ninja JD would like for everyone to believe), I think the Phillies see Olt as just one of the pieces in the trade and the Rangers value him more than that.
  • Options – Grienke, Garza, Dempster, etc.  A deal for one of these guys may present a better value for the Rangers.

Don’t get me wrong…I love this guy and would like to see him wearing a Rangers uniform, but it just doesn’t seem likely….but neither did Cliff 2 years ago.

We should know about the Phillies offer in the next week to 10 days.  If Hamels passes on their offer and officially hits the trading block, it’s going to make the deadline that much more interesting.

Isn’t this fun?

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