The Guy The Phillies Need to Get Rid of Isn’t Hamels
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is reporting that Phillies have been making calls to gauge trade interest in pitcher Cole Hamels.
In the report, Heyman says there has been no progress in extension talks between Hamels and the Phillies, so it makes sense for them to deal him for a package of prospects.
At this point, the Phillies season has just been a disaster, poor off season decisions, bad contracts and poor managing have put the Phillies virtually out of the NL East race already. Sure injuries have crippled this team with Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard just to name a few missing chunks of time, but two if the three guys you knew were going to miss time and really no off- season replacement plan was put into motion.
Yes losing Halladay hurts, but how many teams would love to lose Hallday and still have Hamels and Cliff Lee waiting in the wings every fifth day - a luxury the Phillies still have. However, for Ruben Amaro to neglect the bullpen the way he did this off-season is enough to consider losing your job.
Making big trades is one part of the job that Amaro has shown he is willing to do, but the great GM's like his mentor Pat Gillick make the small moves, add the utility guy, build the bullpen (see 2008), take a shot on a guy nobody wants (Jayson Werth).
Amaro has hung his hat on making deals for Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence and Cliff Lee (two times, botching one of them so bad that he could be fired just for that decsion). However, deciding to make John Mayberry Jr. and everyday player, bringing a DH to the National League, and adding no bullpen help to a a team that was losing two of it's top hitters and was very dependent on pitching is unacceptable.
Two guys I lobbied for this off-season; Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit are both having big seasons in Minnesota. I asked for Amaro to bring in Joe Nathan to set-up for Ryan Madson (he got a $14 million deal and was named to the AL All-star team, Jonathan Papelbon got $50 million). Granted Madson got hurt, but who knows if he would if he were still here. The pen would have Madson closing and Nathan as the set-up man.
Teams can hang on without a consistent offense, what teams can't recover from is blowing leads and having a bullpen that the manger can't trust.
My guess is Cole Hamels won't sign here and Amaro will be the guy in charge of dealing him. In return guys similar to when the Phillies dealt Lee to Seattle for three prospects: right-hander Phillippe Aumont, outfielder Tyson Gillies and right-hander Juan Ramirez - none of which hare ready to help the team now, which is why you traded Lee in the first place remember to help replenish the farm system.
The question this time of the year is are you a buyer or seller, maybe the move the Phillies really need to make is finding a new GM to help make the right decisions for the future, not just pull the trigger on fantasy baseball moves.
Losing Hamels is unacceptable, a guy who was drafted here, won a World Series here, a NLCS and Word Series MVP here and because Amaro botched the Lee deal the first time he over spent to bring Lee back a second time and ironically enough doesn't have enough left over to keep Hamles here.
The past five years Citizens Bank Park has been the place to be, but the Phillies fair-weather fan base is starting to crack leaving empty seats all over the once filled ball park. The Phillies are fudging attendance numbers just like Amaro has fudged the 2012 Phillies roster - retreads, vagabonds and bad business decisions have put the Phillies in the position they are in today and the next got out the door could be the one guy that they can't afford to lose - Hamels.