Multiple Teams Still Calling on Cole Hamels
Will he stay or will he go now?
That seems to be the question for many Phillies fans as we are just 16 days before pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater.
While Ruben Amaro Jr. has indicated that he thinks the team will begin the year with Cole Hamels on the roster - USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale seems to think there is still a chance he could be traded.
Nightengale reports that five-or-six teams are still trying to trade for Hamels while Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Padres are "still working hard" to acquire a frontline starter. While Passan doesn't mention Hamels by name he does mention that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro "covets" Andrew Cashner and that San Diego is not on Hamels no-trade list.
The Padres, Rangers, Cardinals, Red Sox, and Dodgers are among the teams who have expressed interest in Hamels this winter. However, one name that Nightengale thinks the Phillies might target is Red Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart in a potential Cole Hamels deal.
If the Amaro can pull off a deal for Swihart, then the Phillies might pull the trigger. Swihart is considered the top catching prospect in the game and the Phillies have a big need at catcher with Carlos Ruiz entering this season at 36 years old and owed $17.5 million over the next two seasons. The Phillies acquired Tommy Joseph in the Hunter Pence deal, he has suffered multiple concussions in recent years and had another season cut short due to a wrist injury last season.
This could be a sign that the Phillies have given up on Joseph as their catcher of the future.
I discussed the future of Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Dom Brown and more with Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com on the Sports Bash: