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Papelbon: the Philly clubhouse won’t like it if Hamels is traded

Jul 10, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Cole Hamels has sat for a zillion interviews and has been asked a zillion questions about the possibility of being traded mid-season, and he has totally avoided any hint of controversy in his answers. Not an easy trick given how delicate the politics of trades and free agency and all of that is.  One “Oh, I’d love to play for the Dodgers” could turn into a little arglebargle that no on ever wants, but he’s avoided it.

So of course the first time Jonathan Papelbon is asked about such a thing he says something he probably shouldn’t have said to’s Jim Salisbury:

Papelbon was asked how the Phillies’ clubhouse would react if Hamels was traded.
“I don’t know,” he said, at first pondering the question. “That’s hard to say. I definitely don’t think we should [trade him]. I don’t think he’s trying to jump ship by any means.
“I don’t necessarily know if our clubhouse would take that too well.”
He immediately added that he knows it’s a business, but the fact that he even mentioned the clubhouse stuff isn’t going to help an already difficult season for Charlie Manule, Ruben Amaro and the Phillies any easier.
  1. dkphilly1122 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Hamels is a stud, you can’t trade that type of talent away, or let him walk. Show him the money and keep him a Phillie for life, he wants and deserves it.

    • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      He is a stud, but the problem is that this team is more than likely done competing for a while. They need to rebuild. The issue with keeping Hamels is that by the time the Phillies are ready to compete again, Hamels will be either in or approaching his mid 30’s and the Phillies will have paid all of that money for a stud to pitch on a rebuilding team.

    • kopy - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      A stud? How many foals has he sired?

  2. js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    In this situation, what the players want is irrelevant. This is an aging, last place team. Next year, they’re going to be year older with the distinct possiblity of being without Hamels as well. Amaro should be thinking about trading everything that isn’t nailed down and he should also be convincing ownership to send money as well in order to maximize the return. This is not to say that I don’t understand where Papelbon is coming from. He just inked a long term deal to a sinking ship. I wouldn’t want to go through a rebuilding process either.

    • stex52 - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Not to get too much into the money thing. But you could give me 50 MM$ to stand on a sinking ship for four years. In fact, hand me a leaky bucket, I’ll bail for four years.

      Sure, it’s more fun to win. But Papelbon will be just fine.

      • chadjones27 - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        stex, that’s because you’re not a highly paid ball player. I would have to assume that most ball players want to keep winning on a winning team, regardless of how much money they’re making. Paplebon came on to a winning team after leaving a losing Red Sox team. He doesn’t want that again, regardless of how much cash was thrown his way.
        For any of us who can’t play at the major league level to say, “oh, I’d take a crappy team for that much money,” is a little near sighted.

      • stex52 - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        Understand your point. But I don’t necessarily agree. I see contracts done to maximize the money all the time, often at the expense of being on the better team (Werth comes to mind immediately). Papelbon is being overpaid for his performance; I doubt he would take a cut to bail out right now.

        Sure I buy into all of this competitive thing, especially at that level. But for a lot of these guys it is a paycheck, and they will go where they get the maximum.

      • kkolchak - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        “I would have to assume that most ball players want to keep winning on a winning team, regardless of how much money they’re making”

        Carols Lee begs to differ. Unfortunately, I don’t think he is alone in becoming complacent after getting his big contract. Some guys still have the fire once money is no longer a concern for them but others lose it, especially as they get older and the aches and pains begin to pile up.

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      “This is an aging, last place team.”

      Are they in last place because they’re “aging?”

      • js20011041 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        In part, yes, but that’s largely irrelevant to the reality of the situation. With the exception of a likely soon to be gone Hamels, and Pence, the rest of the roster is either in or approaching their mid 30s. This isn’t the late 90’s steroid era where you have players having career years in their late 30s, early 40s. These players are in decline. If this is a last place team this year, how can they possibly be expected to be better next year? Especially when you consider the fact that they probably will not resign Hamels.

      • rmfields - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        No, they are aging because they are in last place.

        What kind of silly question is that?

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Indeed, how could they possibly be better next year?… Are you really ignoring injuries that much to say that this team instantly turned from 102 wins to sub .500? This team has been in such decline that they increased their win total every year for 5 straight years.

      The 2nd oldest player now is Roy Halladay. Is he done? Is he not coming back? He’s too old, right? Trade him too?

  3. joshfrancis50 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM


    • itsacurse - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      I’d say it’s more foofaraw, but point taken

  4. heyblueyoustink - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I’m ambivalent at this point. if the resign him, fine, if they trade him for a ready to go high end prospect or two, like a Mike Olt and a couple others for instance, then hey, I’ll live with it.

    All I ask is to not bring back any of the bobos from this year’s middle relief. I fear for their lives.

  5. stex52 - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    I don’t think Papelbon did too badly. Surely his thoughts are no surprise to management. If you trade Hamels or let him walk, you are throwing in the towel and the players know it. Management just has to decide what is right and do it. There is still a lot of talent on the team.

  6. paperlions - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    The future is murky at best.

    • cleverbob - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      That sounds vaguely familiar.

      You know what the clubhouse shouldn’t take well? Losing

  7. proudlycanadian - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Forget Hamels. Trade Doc to Toronto!

    • cur68 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Hell, trade Hamels, too.

  8. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    They shouldn’t trade Cole Hamels. Craig, when you said on the radio just now that their payroll would have to go up to $200 million to resign him, how did you come up with that? What do you think their payroll is now? Blanton and Polanco could be gone. They have a team option for Contreras. Thome and Qualls are already gone. Their contracts for this year combine to $19.15 million. Sabathia’s 7-year $161 million contract is close to what Hamels will get. That’s $8 million above the $15 million Hamels is making this year. So how is it they can’t resign him? Are they going to put priority in signing Victorino over Hamels? They, again, have the highest attendance in baseball and these owners have spent what they make. I’d say the only reason he has not been resigned is because he wants 7 years and the Phillies balk at signing pitchers for more than 3 years. But that idea should change with Hamels.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Craig, when you said on the radio just now that their payroll would have to go up to $200 million to resign him, how did you come up with that?

      Because as it stands right now, the Phillies have 6 players signed for next year that already total $104M in payroll. 6! Add in Pence who is arbitration eligible so that’ll take his salary up to $13-$15M, and you are looking at $120M (possibly) in 7 players. If you re-sign Hamels to a $20M/AAV deal, that’s 8 players and $140M. Toss in Kendrick and Pierre and you are at $145M. That still leaves you without a 5th starter and a CF, but 10 out of 25 guys signed and only $30M off 2012’s payroll.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        And that helps prove the point. In those 15 to fill, how much are you spending on a 5th starter? Do you need another $20 million for that? No one said to fill the rest with superstars. Worley, Mayberry, Bastardo, Galvis, Diekman, and Martinez are arbitration or pre-arbitration. Nix will make $1.35 million. So that’s 17 players and we’re at around, tops, $155 million now. How much money do you need to get 8 more players for the bullpen and the bench? $45 million??? Unless you’re going for Josh Hamilton to be your CF they can definitely field a team and keep Cole Hamels.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        The current 5th starter makes $10M (Blanton). The current CF makes just under $10M. With the absurd deals to guys like Andre Ethier, the OF market is going to get expensive this offseason. So the Phillies will probably end up in a wash in spending between their current CF/5th starter and next season. Tack on that $20M to the $145M and you are at $165M.

        Also, the entire payroll consists of guys from the 40 man roster. Even small signings, <500K, start to add up. The Phillies could probably* afford to do this, but at what cost? Is that team actually better than this years? Better than year's past?

        *obligatory we don't know the inner workings of any teams finances

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Why would they have to pay $10 million for a pitcher? How many 5th starters make $10 million? It is completely unnecessary to do that when you’re paying Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. They could start Kendrick and either fill the long reliever spot with someone from triple-A or sign someone. There is no way anyone would say they can’t replace Joe Blanton with anything less than a 10-million dollar pitcher… Same thing with CF. Maybe they go the cheapest way with Mayberry, Brown, and Pence. Who knows. But Hamels is a higher priority than a long reliever and CF.

        So you’re at $165 million, very conservatively, and 19 more roster spots now, and $34.9 million until we get to $200 million. That’s $1.84 million for each, which is all bench players and guys who will end up in triple-A. As I originally said, they can sign Hamels and be under $200 million.

      • cleverbob - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Your scenario is theoretically plausible, but it starts to fall apart when you plug in Mayberry as an every day center fielder. Especially with two corner outfielders who have the ability to make routine plays look difficult.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Why would they have to pay $10 million for a pitcher?

        I didn’t say they would. Reread my comment. I said they are currently paying $10M for a 5th starter and about $10M for a CF. However, because the OF market has gone insane with the Ethier signing (and Adam Jones), they might be able to save money on the 5th starter but they’ll pay a premium for a CFer, thus making it a wash and still spending $20M (aka $5-7M on a 5th starter, and $13-15M on a CFer).

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        cleverbob, i said it was the cheapest way. And if that’s what they have to try for a year to see if Brown can play and to stay within budget while keeping Cole Hamels then that’s why they have to do.

        church, Kendrick, who is currently a starter, could be the #5 and it could be a matter of filling the LR. Not a bad choice because, as much as a I don’t like Kendrick starting, I don’t like a lot more other #5 starters in the majors.

        Did you not contest they could sign Hamels and stay under $200 million? we named all these guys and almost filled a roster, and kept Hamels, Add Ruiz and you’ve got over $25 million to fill about 5 non-starter roster spots before you hit 200.

  9. anxovies - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    What’s all the hullabaloo over this clubhouse stuff? It’s just a floccinaucinihilipilification.

  10. polapea - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Trading Hamels would be a huge mistake:
    1. You aren’t going to get a ton. With the new CBA teams any team that trades for him mid-season and then can’t re-sign him won’t get as many supplemental picks as in the past.
    2. At best you are going to get a few prospects. Sorry but I have ZERO faith in the Phils scouting dept to find good prospects. Anyone hear from the prospects the Phils got the past couple years?
    3. He’s a young, dominate lefty, not too many of those around. If you want to build for the future he’s the guy to build around
    4. This team isn’t as bad as everyone wants t make them out to be. They’ve had a ton of injuries and the bullpen has been atrocious. The pen has lost 17 games this year. Fix the pen. And before anyone rips the offense, remember they are top 10 in runs and average. They aren’t getting timely hits but they are hitting.
    The Phils definitely have some areas of need but trading away a guy who can be your ace for another 6-7 years is crazy especially for prospects who may not pan out. Move Victorino, dump some salary (Blanton etc), go after Jason Bourn, get some relief help and sign Hamels. Their salary may bump some until they can rid themselves of Utley’s contract after ’13 but thy will still be competitive and making $. If they blow the team up and try to rebuild they will lose the fan base.

  11. happster - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    And that’s one of the very few reasons I’m glad Boston traded him. He’s a big mouth with no filter who creates distractions. Still worth having him for the skill, but I don’t miss his idiotic comments.

  12. happster - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Excuse me, I misspoke…he wasn’t traded.

  13. cintiphil - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    We can use Hamels here in Cinti. Lets trade him Philly. Just call Walt and talk about it. that would nail it down for us this year.

  14. randygnyc - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Polapea- sign Jason Bourne? He’s loyal but can’t always be relied on to show up, especially with the ongoing threat of middle eastern terrorism hanging over our heads. And do you think the phillies are really going to let him travel from city to city carrying explosives and automatic weapons? I DON’T THINK SO.

  15. sabatimus - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    At least Pap runs his mouth in Philly just as much as he did in Boston.

  16. pw38 - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    As a Rangers fan I don’t really care to trade either Profar or Olt for him when it’s probable he won’t be here next season. Cliff Lee kinda soured that for me. Besides, the team has enough good pitching; they just need to all get healthy.

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