Could the Phillies Keep Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon?
When the Phillies hired Andy MacPhail about a month ago, I speculated on the Sports Bash that the team could opt to keep Cole Hamels past the July deadline because of the uncertainty from MacPhail the day he was hired.
"I thought right from the begining that the timing was pretty strange," ESPN.com MLB writer Jerry Crasnick told me on the Sports Bash Friday about when the Phillies decided to bring MacPhail on board.
"You're talking about a potential franchise altering trade and the guy who is going to be overseeing your franchise, the first day he came in he basically said, I'm not particularly comfortable, I don't really know enough to make this deal, if they want to ask my opinion Im fine with that - I thought that was really kind of strange."
MacPhail came out and openly admitted that he hasn't been close to the game in three seasons and because of that other clubs wonder if the Phillies uncertainty in the front office has hampered their ability to finalize a deal.
"Who's going to make this deal than?" Crasnick asked. "Is Ruben Amaro going to be the guy? I know it's probably going to be a collaborative effort , but I would think you would want Andy MacPhail to be 100-percent on board with it, this is not just a small deal, this is a huge deal for them."
One thing to consider with trading Hamels is the free agent market this offseason is a good one for teams looking for pitching. So if the Phillies hold on to Hamels and want to deal him in the offseason, teams will be able to sign guys instead of trade top prospects to acquire a guy like Hamels.
"It probably makes sense that now would be better than the offseason when you have David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto and all these other guys," Crasnick explained. "I don't think it's imperative that they trade him, he's still a really good pitcher, he still has three years left on his deal, but the problem is the longer they keep him, the better the chances he gets hurt, I'm sure its best to do it now if you can."
(Listen to ESPN.com MLB writer Jerry Craasnick discuss Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and more)
And then of course there is Jonathan Papelbon, Sources have also indicated that Papelbon could be dealt very soon and probably should have been traded by now, he didn't pull any punches during the all-star break with his desire to get out of Philly.
"It was an opportunity for him to publicly vent and put pressure on the Phillies." Crasnick said about Papelbon's tirade at the all-star game. "I will give the guy this, number one he is not afraid to speak his mind, number two he's colorful, number three - he's not afraid to pitch in a pennant race, it would be in everybody's best interest to move him right now."
So are their takers for Papelbon?
"Yeah I think there is a little bit of a market," Crasnick said. "I think there's some teams where he can go.
The MLB trade deadline is July 31st, we shall see if Hamels, Papelbon and others are still in Philadelphia once it passes.