The rumors continue to swirl around Cole Hamels. The Red Sox, who clamor for an ace, might intensify their efforts for Hamels if free agent lefty Jon Lester accepts the Cubs $138 million offer.
There are also rumors that the Dodgers have a keen interest in acquiring Hamels. Much like the Red Sox, Los Angeles has a surplus of young gifted ballplayers. The question is will the Red Sox or Dodgers part with its top tier talent for one of baseball’s few aces?
“I think if you have the chance to get Hamels, who is one of the best in the game and you’re as close as the Dodgers are, you pull the trigger,” a NL executive said. “If I were the Dodgers, I would give up the prospects for Hamels. How many big time prospects have failed?”
Too many to name. Many can’t miss prospects — like Matt Laporta, Lastings Milledge and Merkin Valdez — often miss.
If the Dodgers added Hamels, LA would be the prohibitive favorite to win the pennant.
“Can you imagine a rotation of (NL MVP/Cy Young Award winner Clayton) Kershaw, (Zach) Grienke and Hamels?,” a NL scout said. “Who could match up with that?”
A month before Hamels signed his extension with the Phillies in July of 2012, Kershaw was vocal about King Cole trading red pinstripes for Dodger blue.
“We would love to have him on our side,” Kershaw said. “Cole is a great pitcher. I think it would be a great match. I would be surprised if he doesn’t sign with the Dodgers.”
Well, Kershaw was surprised then but LA has a chance to land the Southern California native. Would the Dodgers part with can’t miss outfield prospect Joc Pederson, shortstop Corey Seager and/or pitcher Julio Urias? Each of those three are among the top 15 prospects in the minors.
And then there are the Red Sox, who have an embarrassment of riches as far as young talent goes. The Phillies would love to add outfielder Mookie Betts but he is reportedly as untouchable as Hamels once was.
Would the Sox part with shortstop Xander Boegarts, catcher Blake Swihart, who has been compared to Buster Posey and lefthander Henry Owens, who projects to be a number 3 starter?
“That might seem like a lot for Red Sox fans to give up,” a NL scout said. “But if you’re the Phillies, you really have to get a lot for Hamels or you keep him. You don’t want to make a bad trade and make a bad situation worse.”