Report: Phillies ‘Ready and Willing’ to Deal Lee, Hamels
According to a report by ESPN's Buster Olney, the Phillies have indicated to teams that they are "ready and willing" to discuss Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports also hears that both Philadelphia lefties could be moved, but the Phillies won't eat any of the remaining money on either contract.
Hamels will be 30 at the end of this month and is guaranteed $112.5 million through the 2018 season ($22.5 annually) with a $24 million vesting option for 2019. Meanwhile, Lee, 35, is owed $25 million in each of the next two seasons while his contract includes a $27.5 million club option for 2016 or a $12.5 million buyout.
While both pitchers had good seasons, neither pitchers season matches the price tag they both carry. Hamels went 8-14 witha 3.60 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 2013. Lee, 35, went 14-8 with a 2.87 ERA last season.
The questions is, what message does this send and what direction does this indicate the Phillies are going? You just brought back Carlos Ruiz for three more seasons as a 35-year old catcher. Furthermore, the team signs Marlon Byrd, a 36-year old right-fielder, who has been suspended foe PED use in the past. These moves suggest that the team thinks they can win now - coupled with the resigning of Chase Utlely last season - they believe they can win now - so why think about trading your two ace pitchers?
One thing to consider in trying to trade either of these pitchers, as FOX's Ken Rosenthal points out, they both have no-trade clauses to 21 teams - so finding a partner might be very difficult.
The question I really have is, does it even make sense to deal either of these guys now?