How Should the Phillies Handle Cole Hamles Moving Forward?
While opening day didn't quite go the way Cole Hamels would have liked, allowing four runs -- all on solo home runs -- in five innings, his name will continue to surface in trade talks between now and the July 31 deadline.
But now that the season has started, what is the right way to handle the Hamels situation moving forward?
I asked ESPN.com senior baseball writer Keith Law, a former member of the Blue Jays front office, how he would handle the Hamels situation at this stage of the season.
"Every start he makes, the value goes down a little bit," Law explained on the Sports Bash Monday. "Whether the Phillies acknowledge that or not, I don't know. I believe that is the reality of the market at this point."
So who would be the Ideal fit for Hamels right now?
"The Red Sox," Law said. "They have the need for the front line starter, and one of the deepest, five best farm systems in all of baseball. So they can give you the prospects you want, they can absorb some of the salary, and they have the most glaring need of any contender for a start of Hamels caliber. "
Hamels is coming off of an impressive year in which he posted a 2.46 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings. He has now gone over 200 innings in each of the past five seasons and at 31 years old, there is some concern that he could break down at any time - Hamels has been relatively healthy throughout his eight big league season.
"They still have a very strong incentive to do something sooner rather than later," Law acknowledged. "If your Ruben Amaro you probably need to be aggressive, but that said there not be a lot you can do, there has to be someone willing to dance with him on the other side."
(Listen to ESPN.com's Keith Law discuss Hamles, Utley, Nola and more)