Hamels decision key for Phillies

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The Phillies are moving on. At least that’s what we think.

And the best indication from the Phillies’ front office is that they all agree, six years removed from a parade down Broad Street, that the team must begin working on setting seeds for the next era of success in Citizens Bank Park.

Of all the assets the Phillies have — the vast majority of which are past their prime and overpaid — Cole Hamels offers Philadelphia the most to gain during “hot stove” period of free agency about to unfurl.

However, he is also the best pitcher on the team, the anchor of the starting staff, and is under club control for a long time to come.

In addition, Hamels is also 31, in his prime and could conceivably still be in his prime when the Phillies are able to contend. He also could serve as a mentor for young pitchers coming to Philly in the future, much as Jamie Moyer did in the years leading up to the World Series run in 2008.

The price is high for Hamels. Even if the team is looking to move him, it will command quite the package to make it happen.

CSN’s Jim Salisbury has cited industry sources saying “the Phils are looking for at least three top prospects, two that can play right now and another that isn’t far away.”

Two teams fitting this description are the Red Sox, poised to once again contend after one year of rebuilding, and the Cubs, obviously looking to leap forward under Joe Maddon.

It is expected that Hamels would be willing to waive his no trade clause to go play for a contender.

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