The Cole Market


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I wish it wasn’t so, but I see Cole Hamels as being gone in a few weeks. I’m glad I got to see him pitch a lot this season, because I’ll miss seeing him as a Phillies pitcher. He’s the only World Series MVP I’ve been able to see win the award, he’s third all-time in strikeouts in the organization, and he’s the best lefty the Phillies have had probably post-Carlton (though Lee had seasons that would argue against this). Last night he pitched at home, and now the team will go on the road as of Friday through the All-Star break. I’m hoping we’ll see Cole pitch in one last All-Star game with the Phillies in Cincinnati. After that though, he probably throws one or two more games in Philadelphia, max.

So where does he go? My list of potentials right now includes Texas, Houston, New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston, Toronto, Kansas City, and Chicago. In terms of having the premium prospects to get it done, actually give the lead to Texas, Houston, Boston, and Pittsburgh from that group, as they have quantity and quality.

What do they have?

Texas

The names to watch here begin with Joey Gallo, a top ten prospect in all of baseball, and slugging third baseman. You then move on to pitcher Jake Thompson, who ranks similarly to Aaron Nola. Other top 100 prospects include catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielders Nomar Mazara and Futures Game participant Nick Williams, and pitcher Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez.

Houston

The Astros are absolutely loaded with talent. Pitcher Mark Appel would probably be a part of the Phillies asking price, though fellow righties Mike Foltynewicz and Vince Velasquez could be the pieces. Former Phillies prospects Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana could make their way into the conversation. I’m sure some Phillies fans would want to see Daz Cameron in the deal as well, though I don’t see that happening. Basically, the Astros have an abundance of prospects, somewhat beyond what can even fit here. They can definitely get the deal done on that end.

Pittsburgh

Where to start here too? Pitcher Tyler Glasnow would make a fine main piece for this deal, but so would highly rated pitcher Jameson Taillon and outfielder Austin Meadows, though I’d suspect that you’d have to get them both together (Taillon hasn’t pitched yet this season and Meadows is in high-A ball right now). First baseman/outfielder Josh Bell would bring considerable power to the table, catcher Reese McGuire would fill a need in a big way, and pitcher Nick Kingham would come up. Alen Hanson could be a nice option as well, filling a second base need. The Pirates system is very deep, the issue with them is money.

Boston

By now, we all know this year hasn’t gone as planned for the Sox. Will they give up? We know the names by now- Castillo, Moncada, Betts, Swihart- but most of them have had injury or performance issues this year. Henry Owens is throwing decently well at AAA, but struggled early. By now, the Phillies have extensively scouted Boston, who can afford Hamels if they want, and either don’t like the players at all, or didn’t like the deal. I don’t see a deal happening now, but you can’t count them out.

The rest of the field

New York has Judge and Severino, and St. Louis has your Piscotty’s, Reyes’, and Gonzales’ of the world. Toronto has Norris and Sanchez, provided he would even waive a no-trade clause to there. Kansas City can offer you a Mondesi or Finnegan, and Chicago can offer you a Baez or Russell, and all of these are nice, but the quantity runs a little lower in these cases. These teams are all capable of getting the job done, I just question if they will be willing to either pay the money or the prospect costs to land Hamels. Each team has a drawback to making this happen.

Ultimately, I believe Cole Hamels is pitching elsewhere in August of 2015. I believe the Phillies will make a deal the remakes the landscape of their system, and their medium term future. These are a few of the names you should watch.

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