In order to rebuild, a team has to concede things.
For the Philadelphia Phillies, that might mean conceding one of their best players in pitcher Cole Hamels.
Not to long ago, they were considered to be the best team in baseball with one of the best pitching rotations ever constructed. That, however, never fully worked out for them.
Their World Series title, led by pitcher Cole Hamels, came before Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee were added into the mix.
Now, CBSSports.com is reporting that the Phillies might be looking to trade Hamels and his huge contract ($96 million over four years left) in an effort to rebuild.
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Who would want him?
The story says that the Red Sox and Cubs would be interested, and Hamels could be more appealing than free agents Max Scherzer and Jon Lester because it is a shorter term deal than those guys are expected to get.
“That's their only [valuable] trading chip,” a competing GM said.
The problem is what a team would have to give up to get Hamels.
It makes sense from the Phillies' side to send Hamels off for a handful of the Cubs' prospects. I'm just not certain it makes sense for the Cubs, when they can bide their time and wait to make a free agent play until next summer, when David Price is expected to hit the market along with Jeff Samardzija and others.
Teams like the Cubs and Astros are probably still another year away from making a big money move to be instant contenders as they wait for their prospects to develop and be ready to contribute daily on the major league level.
Will they ask for too much?
There's little doubt that the Phillies will likely want more than they can get for their franchise pitcher. But, the reality is that he had another good season last year but has had plenty of hiccups in his career as well.
Nothing is certain and Hamels isn't getting any younger. It's been six seasons since he led the Phillies to the World Series title and was considered one of the top youngsters in the game. At age 30, he's hardly old, but he's only a year off of going 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA. In 2009, the year after the World Series, he went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA.
But, for his career, he is 108-83 with a 3.27 ERA.
Those are star numbers, but the guy also has nine seasons of wear and tear on his arm, though he has started more than 30 games each of the past seven seasons, a testament to his overall health.