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Cubs, Phillies not likely to complete a Cole Hamels trade. But it’s still interesting.

Aug 8, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

cole hamels getty Getty Images

As we mentioned the other day, Cole Hamels was claimed on revocable waivers by the Cubs. The Cubs and Phillies have until some time today to complete a deal or else the Phillies will pull him back off of waivers. Most people think there will be no deal.

But this is still interesting. Because it shows that the Cubs would — if Philly took leave of its senses and let Hamels go on waivers — take on a pitcher owed $100 million right now. Which suggests that, unlike in past offseasons, the Cubs are ready so spend big. Possibly even getting into the bidding wars that are likely to develop around Max Scherzer and Jon Lester. And, after 2015, David Price.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    In other words, Theo is ready to make a run at Lester.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Lester will not cost a draft pick. Scherzer will cost a draft pick.

      • Paper Lions - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        The Cubs 1st round pick will be protected, so they only give up a 2nd….not nearly as big a deal.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        I am sure that you can make a list of St Louis second round picks that worked out just fine.

      • Paper Lions - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Sure, but a 1st round pick is far more valuable for both the talent available….especially for a top 5 pick like the Cubs will probably get but also in the money the team is able to spend on the draft. I didn’t say 2nd round picks aren’t valuable, but their value is small compared to a top 5 pick….plus, there is no evidence that picks matter at all when an elite talent is available…they only matter when the guy you are giving up a pick for is someone like Cruz/Morales/Drew.

        BTW, anyone notice that Cruz has been horrible for the last 2 1/2 months?

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        You mean Nelson? Yes, his gas tank does seem to be running lower.

      • jwbiii - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        PC, Not really. The best of the lot are Jerry Reuss (1967) and Dan Haren (2001).. After that there’s Todd Zeile (1986) and Dan Plesac (1980). Here’s the full list:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=franch_round&team_ID=STL&draft_round=2&draft_type=junreg&

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        Thanks for doing the research; however, there have been second round draft picks who have played well. Former MVP Joey Votto is one former second round pick that comes to mind.

    • Bob Loblaw - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Lester is going to cost 6 or more likely 7 years and upwards of $160 million. A smart man with plenty of young talent to trade, steals Hamels at 4 years and $90 million. He’s same age as Lester and is a better pitcher, or at least Lester’s equal.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Agreed that there will be a Lester overpay.

      • longfootlefty - Aug 8, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Pitching, even high caliber pitching, is everywhere right now…and money isn’t really an issue for the Cubs.

        Premium hitting, especially power hitting, is the most scarce commodity in the game right now. Just because the Cubs are loaded with it doesn’t mean it’s smart to trade it.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Is @recoveredcubsfan on this thread? He inspired this from me: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-twelvesteps-for-cubs-fans.html

  2. andreweac - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    The bigger question is to what degree RAJ disagrees with his fellow GMs on the value of Phillies assets.

    I suspect RAJ is a few standard deviations + order of magnitude off.

    Dipoto prior to July 31 “any interest in moving Hamels?”

    RAJ “perhaps, but we absolutely would require Mike Trout for the best clutch, big game pitcher in baseball who knows how to win. I’ll add Revere who is a fine replacement for Trout. Revere has a better batting average than Trout so you might be getting the superior player anyways.”

  3. dlindstedt2 - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Cubs won’t get any names said here. Those guys will pass for better situations.

    • edavidberg - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Doubtful. The odds are great they get one of those guys. Lester in particular is appealing due to Epstein’s familiarity as well as the fact there is no draft pick attached.

    • ochospantalones - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      Six years, $150 million (or whatever they end up offering) will look like a pretty good situation to someone.

  4. andreweac - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Cubs actually are in one of the best positions in baseball to make multiple World Series runs as soon as 2016. The influx of top position prospect provides a wealth of in-the-money value they can allocate to other needs, i.e. Pitching.

    As a large market team they could completely handle the cost of signing Scherzer, Price and Lester + existing contracts of Rizzo, Castro and others with $50 million still left to spend annually through 2019.

    Cubs will soon be for real people.

    • edavidberg - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      The Cubs are going to have a very competitive batting order potentially coming out of Spring Training next year (if Bryant makes the leap). If they sign one or two top starters (or trade for one or two) they are going to compete in the Central, and if Bryant and Baez really pan out they could be real threats in 2015. They are both 30 home run threats, if you count Rizzo how many lineups are going to have 3 guys like that.

      As far as the asking Price for Hamels, I think Almora and potentially Castro could be in the mix. Maybe Valbuena as well. Cubs would hang up the phone if the Phills asked for one of their top 3 (and I think Soler is off the table as well).

      • schmedley69 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        I remember 2 years ago before the Phillies re-signed Hamels, there were rumors about Hamels going to the Rangers before the deadline, but the Rangers insisted that Profar and Mike Olt were untouchables. Not that any of those rumors have any shred of credibility, but my guess is that the Rangers would be very happy today if they would have traded for Hamels and only had to give up a package headlined by Mike Olt. Chances are that 2 years from now the Cubs would be very happy to have traded for Hamels for a package that included one of their top 3 prospects, because they will be lucky if 1 of them ever turns into a super star, let alone all 3. It’s a mute point anyway, because the Cubs aren’t getting Hamels. No need to hang up the phone, Theo. Don’t even bother calling.

      • edavidberg - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        schmedly, Olt and Profar never came close to hitting like Baez and Bryant have in the minors. Teams hype up there own prospects all the time. Some of these guys don’t even excel in the minors and they are hyped as Hall of Famers. Good chance at least two of the Cubs big three make it. Those guys are really young and really good.

    • xmatt0926x - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      I thought the Nats were going to be the team in the NL making all the World Series runs? It may happen, but fans still haven’t learned their lessons from watching the postseason. All the talent gives you is a shot to get into a tournament at the end of the year. Then it’s a crapshoot. The Nats actually have MLB proven talent and a stacked starting rotation and they are still not there. All the Cubs have are prospects so far. I’d wait before making any declarations.

      • tfilarski - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Theo never promised any Cub fan (as I am) a world series title. He has only said that he will get the team into a position where they have a chance on a yearly basis. That really is all you can ask for, because as you said it is a crapshoot

  5. hackerjay - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    I don’t see this as a change in direction for the Cubs. My most accounts they had the second best offer for Tanaka this past offseason, and the year before that they almost had Anibal Sanchez signed, and they did spend $50 million on Edwin Jackson. They have been looking for high-end pitching.

  6. Uncle Charlie - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Two teams heading in completely different directions.
    Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light, Phillies fans.

  7. dadawg77 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Ever think this was long play by the Cubs. Some of the best assets they have to complete this trade won’t pass thru waivers (Castro, Baez). So in the off season they will be available, Cubs avoid paying Hamels for this year when they won’t contend, Hamels doesn’t have a chance to end up on a team that wouldn’t trade him, allows them to have discussions with Philly on what it would take.

    • twinfan24 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      Or, with only 48 hrs to complete a deal, the Cubs hope the Phillies will commit to a deal in the Cubs’ favor because they don’t have time to do their due diligence. Then, you can either keep Hamels, or possibly flip him for more in the offseason or next season, when some other team really needs him desperately.

  8. andreweac - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Remember when the Red Sox demanded Giancarlo Stanton for Manley Ramirez? I think the Marlins are quite glad they did not trade Stanton.

    One cannot only point to deals involving prospects that did not pan out.

  9. 18thstreet - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I assume the Cubs are just blocking someone else from trading for Hamels. I don’t think there’s anything more to it than that.

    If they work out a deal, they’ll be happy about it. But they’re not going to work out a deal.

    • Paper Lions - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Yeah, why not take a free opportunity to see what happens? Plus, they keep him on the trade market for the off season if they don’t get him now.

  10. Bob Loblaw - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Granted, Amaro is probably shooting for the moon in what he is asking for in Hamels. But the fact of the matter is that Hamels will be more attractive than any free agents this offseason. Why would someone give Lester 7 years and $160 million when he is the same age as Hamels and they can give Hamels basically 4 years and $90 million? If you have a glut of prospects, as the Cubs clearly do, then I still say the best thing they can do is part with one stud, a couple middle of the road guys, and get a steal.

    But like I said, I am sure Amaro isn’t asking for a stud and a couple middle of the road guys. He wanted the Dodgers top 3 prospects which was laughable.

    Here’s hoping he is gone after this season and they bring somebody in who can do the frigging job.

    • schmedley69 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I can find fault in the majority of the moves that Amaro has made, but asking a lot for Hamels is not one of them. Hamels is the best pitcher that the Phillies farm system has produced in over 50 years. He is a fan favorite who is in the prime of his career, and he is signed to a reasonable contract (might even be a bargain at this point). And here is the kicker: he wants to stay! He has no desire to leave. This isn’t a Curt Schilling situation, where the Phillies had a gun to their head and had to give Schilling away for practically nothing. There is absolutely no pressure to trade Hamels. If someone blows you away with an offer, then you have to think hard about it, but otherwise, keep him. The last thing that you want to do is trade your most valuable asset for another team’s second tier prospects. Amaro is already hated by most of the fan base. Trade Hamels for middling prospects, and he will need to hire a bodyguard. Keep him, build around him, and hope to contend in a few years. Trade him for junk, and you definitely won’t be contending in a few years.

      • Paper Lions - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        All of this is true, but still doesn’t change the fact that the Hamel’s deal will be over before Philly is competitive again. He essentially conveys no real value pitching for a team that likely won’t finish above .500 for the next 3 years.

      • schmedley69 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Yeah, because you can see 5 years into the future.

  11. andreweac - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    “Build around Hamels.”

    Haha. The Nats, Braves, Mets and Marlins are all younger, with better players, more payroll flexibility and better prospects.

    If Vegas took odds the Phillies would surely be projected to have the fewest wins in the AL East from 2015-2018.

    • schmedley69 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      You are correct. I don’t think the Phillies will win many games in the AL East over that span. Thanks for putting me in my place.

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