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On Trading Cole Hamels, Part 1

When the Phillies bought out Cole Hamels‘ final arbitration year this January, I did the writeup, titling the post with an allusion to this being Hamels’ last go-around in Philadelphia. I did that not so much out of an expectation that Hamels would, in fact, leave the team this offseason, but from a place of frustration and anger. I was frustrated that the Phillies had failed to make sure that their best homegrown pitcher since Robin Roberts would stay with the team as long as Roberts did, and I was angry that they seemed to fail to grasp the urgency of such a predicament. In truth, I had no idea what was going to happen to Hamels long-term.

But since the news leaked yesterday that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was floating trial balloons on a potential Hamels trade, the tenor of the conversation has changed. Now, Hamels’ departure is no longer a thought exercise, but a very real possibility. Since then, Ruben Amaro has flatly denied shopping Hamels. So with about four weeks to go until the trade deadline, and the Phillies closer to last place in the National League than they are to a playoff spot, let’s talk briefly about what this means.

On a personal, self-aggrandizing note, I’ll be going on actual broadcast radio late this evening (12:40 a.m. EDT) to talk about this very topic with Spike Eskin of 94.1 WIP. If you’re in greater Philadelphia, tune in to 94.1 FM, and if you’re on the West Coast or in Europe (where you’re far more likely to be awake), you can stream the segment online here.