Open Thread: Cole Hamels


(Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Joe wrote about the idea of trading for Cole Hamels yesterday, and explained why it’s extremely unlikely to happen. The Phillies are in win-now mode, and keeping Hamels in their rotation will help them a lot more than a fistful of prospects and mediocre big leaguers who plug holes. Kevin Goldstein wasn’t having any of that though (or at least his editors weren’t), so today we put together some trade packages that could pry the lefty away from Philadelphia.

He suggested the Phillies look for four pieces in return: a starter to replace Hamels in the rotation, bullpen help, middle infield help, and a low-level prospect with upside. You can read the article at either ESPN or Baseball Prospectus, but you’re going to need a subscription either way. Here is his suggested Yankees trade package….

New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos, LHP; Hector Noesi, RHP; Austin Romine, C; Mason Williams, OF.

Banuelos is one of the best left-handed prospects in the game and, like Hamels, his best pitch is a changeup, but Banuelos has plenty of other offerings. He should be ready at some point in the 2012 season, while Noesi can start or relieve right now. Williams is exactly the kind of young, athletic outfielder the Phillies covet, and Romine could develop into a replacement for Carlos Ruiz. “The Phillies need a long-term catcher, and their top catching prospect, Sebastian Valle, is not a sure thing,” said the executive.

So what do you think; too much, too little, just right? I’d prefer to swap out Banuelos and Noesi for Dellin Betances and either David Phelps, Adam Warren, or D.J. Mitchell, but that’s just me. The Yankees have catching depth and can afford to give up Romine, and I don’t really sweat losing kids in short season leagues, not even ones as good as Williams. He’s so far away, so much could go wrong. Yeah, it’s a lot to give up for one year of a pitcher, but Hamels is one of the best out there and he’s in his prime. Joe explained it yesterday, he’s basically another CC Sabathia, just four years younger.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Devils are the only local hockey team in action, so you’re going to be stuck entertaining yourselves tonight. Have fun, talk about anything here.

Need Help: Brian McElhinny, who runs the great Pirates’ blog Raise The Jolly Roger, is up for a scholarship and needs some votes. Please just take a second (it literally takes about three seconds) to go here and vote, it’ll be a big help. The poll closes one week from today. Thanks.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. CC says:

    Trying not to prospect hug too much but: Romine, Phelps, Williams, Warren, Betances and Noesi are all guys I could part with. Banuelos I would rather not let go unless Hamels agreed to extend right away. I could be wrong but Banuelos and 3 other guys all of which seem to have significant value seems like a lot for potentially one year of Cole at around 14 million.

    • Ryan says:

      It’s way too much for one yr of cole especially at 14mill. Betances, noesi,romine and forget about williams. That seems more reasonable especially since they have to lock him up for cc money in an extension.

  2. Sarah says:

    I’d hate to part with Banuelos, so maybe sweeten the package of Betances by adding Nova or Noesi (whichever one doesn’t go stays in/joins the rotation)? Do we think the Phils would like Nunez? He’s athletic and can hit some, steal some bases, etc. Those 3 plus Williams? Ouch. That’s a lot. Maybe just those 3 since Nunez might be able to play the OF.

    • Chip says:

      Trading Nova for Cole hurts the team by removing somebody from the starting rotation when they’re trying to add. I would also have a hard time trading Banuelos for only one year of a guy like Cole. I could definitely live with Betances/Romine/Noesi/Williams while just praying that Williams doesn’t turn out into a superstar

      • Sarah says:

        Noesi could step in to the rotation, though, which is why I said it’s a one or the other situation. He’s been starting in winter ball, and the organization has said they view him as a starter.

        It would suck to lose Nova, but if I’m the Phillies, I want someone to take Hamels’ place in the rotation, which means I’m probably asking for Nova rather than taking a chance on Noesi. On the other hand, maybe they like Noesi’s upside.

        I honestly think this might need to be a 3 team deal. Someone with a infield depth who needs pitching. With Phelps, Warren and Mitchell, surely a team somewhere might take one of them in a deal.

        Not going to happen, so I’m not getting my hopes up.

  3. Jesse says:

    Banuelos, Noesi, Romine, and Williams is simply too much.

    But like Axisa suggested, Betances, Phelps, Romine, and Williams would be a better deal, obviously. But prospects are like kids, you love your kids more than any other parent out there and the same applies with prospects.

  4. viridiana says:

    Awful idea. No way I give up that much for an expensive one-year rental.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      There’s this crazy contract extension thing…

      • Mike Axisa says:

        You still don’t seem to understand that the trade and contract extensions are two separate things.

        • Jesse says:

          Why? Just make it to where you have to agree on a contract extension to complete the deal. Sure it’d be a rather quick decision, but that won’t matter if the extension, and thus the trade, is made.

        • Yazman says:

          Mike, while separate, isn’t there also value in getting “first dibs” on a plum free agent by way of extension (if the deal is right)?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          You still don’t seem to understand that there are two teams involved in every trade and teams don’t give away young aces for the fun of it.

          Sure it would be great for the Yankees to give up less rather than more. It would be best for the Phillies to get more rather than less, though, and if the Yankees don’t match their price there’s a pretty good chance someone else will for a STUD like Hamels.

          Guys are a whole lot easier to re-sign and sign to extensions than to hope and pray they hit free agency and sign with you rather than get an extension or sign somewhere else.

          The Phillies aren’t just going to take whatever the Yankees offer without consulting other teams. I would expect the bidding for Hamels to get quite competitive if the Phillies don’t just re-sign him (which is still what I expect).

        • Plank says:

          Judging by the high number of pitchers that choose to sign before hitting free agency, there does seem to be some advantage in having a player under control.

          • Doug says:

            This tends to be younger players who have only played for one organization.

            Not sure the Yanks would have any inside edge in resigning him or signing him to an extension simply due to the fact that he pitched one year for the team.

            • Plank says:

              Hamels is a younger guy who has only pitched for one organization. So was Santana. He didn’t seem to mind signing with a club that traded for him and he had never pitched for at that point.

              By the way, I think there is no way the Phillies trade Hamels at all.

    • William says:

      Rental? It’s the Yankees!

  5. Chip says:

    I do agree, however, that CC/Cole/AJ/Nova/Hughes could be a pretty dynamite staff with Phelps/Warren/Manny/Betances/ect waiting down in AAA

  6. John says:

    Can someone tell me what a LOOGy stands for? Lefthanded………….

  7. Dropped Third Superstar says:

    For one year of Hamels I would’nt give up Man Ban and Noesi. Id offer Betances, Romine, Nunez and either Phelps or Warren.

  8. Jesse says:

    I think in a blockbuster trade like this if you’re the Yankees you have to make it to where you have to reach a contract extension with Hamels to complete the deal.

  9. thenamestsam says:

    I’d consider that deal if I get the exclusive negotiating window and I can resign him to a reasonable(C.C. type money extension). I just don’t think I could give up that much without the assurance that he was going to stay long-term. If he’d take a fair package then I’d bite the bullet and do it. It hurts to lose all those guys, but getting a pitcher like Hamels has to hurt.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Also looking at it from the other side. If I’m Philly and I don’t think he resigns I would definitely take that Yankees package. With Noesi in place of Hamels, they could use the money that frees up to add a bat and they’d still be heavy favorites in that division. And once you get in, their pitching would still line up well with anyone’s except maybe the Giants. Obviously you’re sacrificing a bit next year, but not that much once you spend the money they have ticketed for Hamels, and in 2013 ManBan steps into the rotation, you take the big chunk of change you had ticketed for Cole and add some pieces and deal either Romine or Ruiz and I think you’re in at least as good of shape for the last couple years of your window as you are signing Cole to a massive deal. And you still have the upside of Williams which I haven’t even mentioned.

      • Chip says:

        Agreed, if I’m the Phillies and get the impression that he’s going to test the market no matter what, I’d do that deal in a heartbeat.

  10. viridiana says:

    Also this– if earlier stoyr on IFA spending cap is true, Yanks will be even more reliant on this current crop of farm prospects– arguably the best we’ve had in many years. Trading four top 10 prospects (including #2 in Manny) would make Yanks ever more depoendent on costly free agent signings – an avenue that looks increasingly expensive and less promising– at a time they are already burdened with under-performing players on mammoth contracts.

  11. Will says:

    No way. That’s way too much. I don’t mean to prospect hug but that’s way too many high upside players to give up for one pitcher. You’re subtracting our minor league depth/farm by adding an ace. I’d hang on to Banuelos + Williams and see what I could get for Betances + Noesi. I’d rather give up something like Betances + Romine + Phelps for Danks or Floyd then give up our gold pieces for Hamels.

    • Dropped Third Superstar says:

      I’d much rather do that too because there is a chance we can get Hamels for nothing but cash and a pick after this season anyway.

      • Will says:

        Supposedly the rumors are that the Phillies are very focused on extending him. Let’s hope not. Hopefully they don’t have room in the payroll for Hamels.

  12. Ted Nelson says:

    It’s definitely a steep price, but Cole Hamels isn’t coming cheap. Not an easy decision. Wouldn’t be too upset either way.

  13. dean says:

    I’d do Betances,Phelps, Romine or something like that but no Banuelos for one year of Cole….that first package is way too much.

  14. Chip says:

    I do have to admit though that for a writer in Philadelphia, this isn’t a bad trade proposal at all. I think he’s definitely in the range of what both sides would consider.

  15. dean says:

    I also think the Phillies would need big league ready offense in order to trade Hamels…..the package would need to help them now as much as in the future I would think.

  16. Bubba says:

    Way too much for one year and then the headache of trying to extend. Also in my woefully ignorant opinion, it seemed the other trades were a bunch of pupu platters compared to what the Yankees hypothetically are offering

  17. J Studz says:

    Too Much. Banuelos is one of the top prospects and definitely has the talent to become a harder throwing version of Cole Hamels. To add another top prospect like Mason Williams and throw in a good catching prospect like Romine is just overkill to me. I would only include Mason Williams if Banuelos was not part of the deal.

    Betances, Romine, Williams.

  18. UYF1950 says:

    For 1 year with no guarantees of being able to resign him I don’t think I’d pull the trigger on that deal. If I could get a 48 or 72 hour window to negotiate an extension and have that extension agreement in hand I’d pull the trigger for Banuelos, Noesi, Romine and Williams. Although I would see if I could sub someone else for Williams if possible but I wouldn’t let that be the deal breaker.

  19. PopsGT says:

    I say NO to that deal. That would be absurd, in my opinion. The Yankees won their division with a pitching staff that would seem to make that reality a pipe dream. Hamels isn’t worth “selling the farm” for, and with the prospects we have now we should have no problem repeating as AL East champs.
    If we’re going to talk about shit that will never happen, let’s trade for Felix Hernandez. He’d look better in pinstripes than Hamels.

  20. Grit for Brains says:

    Wouldn’t trade ManBan for Hamels….and I really like Cole Hamels.

  21. UYF1950 says:

    Here’s food for thought.
    Change the names replace Hamels with Clayton Kershaw. Do you think the Dodgers go for that trade?
    Kershaw for Banuelos/Noesi/Romine/Williams. Kershaw still has 3 years of team control left and he’s a lefty and he strikes out a bunch.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      No, they would not, for the very reason you mentioned.

    • dean says:

      no….but I probably would have to do that.

    • William says:

      For Kershaw? Montero and Banuelos, no doubt. Kershaw is a once in a generation pitcher.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        In what way? He’s had 3 elite seasons sure but how is that once in a generation?

        • UYF1950 says:

          Considering the kid’s only 23 and won’t be 24 until March of 2012 I’d say 3 elite seasons is pretty damn good. No make that excellent. With a SO to Walk ratio in 2011 of over 4.5 to 1. That might not be one in a generation but you would be hard pressed to find many 23 year old ML pitchers with his types of numbers. Just my opinion.

  22. candyforstalin says:

    can’t we save this kind of ridiculousness for players who had one (at least one) 5 war season?

    • Plank says:

      To me, that just means he wants a long term deal now. Since he can only get it with the Phillies, he’s saying he wants to stay with them. If he was a Brewer, he would be saying he wants to stay with them long term.

  23. William says:

    Love the deal. Ham els is a sure thing. Banuelos? Ehh.

  24. Craig Maduro says:

    Here’s the thing. I’m as big of a prospect hugger as there is out there, but the Yankees can’t use them all. I wouldn’t put a package together for John Danks, but I’d pay a little more for Cole Hamels. ManBan and Jesus are the two that I don’t want to see moved for anything but the most elite of the elite, but for the right guy I can accept anybody else being moved.

    Not that the Phillies would necessarily be interested, but I would be willing to include Nova in a hypothetical package. We don’t add a starter to the rotation in that case, but you upgrade with a second ace and you can relatively easily replicate Nova’s production on the FA market.

  25. Monteroisdinero says:

    The Phils are too smart for us. Didn’t we get Golson from them? Stay away from trading Manny B.

  26. Chas131 says:

    I’m in! Good luck Manny!

  27. Preston says:

    I’m usually a prospect hugger, but for Hamels I’d trade either Montero straight up or pretty much any package of prospects.

    • Can’t say I would do Montero. 6 years of a cost controlled middle of the order bat is an absolute premium. I would need more guaranteed years preferably at a cheaper price than what Cole is going to make on the open market or via extension.

  28. eh says:

    How about Nova and Robertson. Yanks get an upgrade at starter. The Phillies get a cost controlled starter and an elite 8th inning guy to go with…that guy they just signed…starts with a P. To my mind it makes both teams stronger next year. The Phils would go into the playoffs with two of the best starters in mlb and a dynamic bullpen and a bit more flexibility for dealing with the Howard contract. The Yanks have two excellent lefties at the top of their rotation and still have Mo, Soriano, Chamberlain.

  29. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    I wouldn’t trade anything for Hamels. I’d take my chances on him in free agency. No reason to bust the system up over a guy the Yankees can just sign later. If he doesn’t hit free agency, then it wasn’t meant to be.

  30. Scott says:

    I’d prefer NOT to swap Banuelos, Noesi, Betances, Phelps, Warren, or Mitchell. But that’s just me.

  31. Juke Early says:

    Sometimes a stand has to be made on keeping a kid pitcher no matter who they could get in a trade. So, I’m on board the don’t trade Banuelos bandwagon. As for Hamels—sure, dude can pitch. But w/his flake off a couple of WS ago plus that he’s getting his results in the NL, his good stats aside — he is a real risk candidate for Whitson-Pagano Syndrome in the Bronx.

  32. CMP says:

    I’d just as soon keep the prospects for only 1 year of Hamels.
    There’s a good chance he hits the free agent market next year anyway so why pay twice. I can’t see Hamels accepting a long term contract to a team he’s just been traded to when he’s so close to free agency anyway and that package is WAY too much for only 1 year of Hamels who could easily pull a Lee and just return to the Phillies after the season anyway.

  33. Kurt says:

    CMP and others are absolutely right. Why trade half your farm system for one year of Hamels?

  34. Monteroisdinero says:

    Sit tight. Do nothing.

    Cliff Lee did not bring a championship. Carl Crawford did not make the playoffs. Jayson was not Werth it. Adam appears Dunn.

    Jesus is rising for 476K!

  35. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    Don’t think I would give all that up for Hamels. Not saying he isn’t “worth it”, just saying I wouldn’t make the deal.

  36. Steve S. says:

    I love Hamels ability, but there’s a reason why the Phils have spent loads of cash on everyone but him. He’s had 4 elbow injuries, 2 shoulder injuries and twice landed on the DL for “degenerative disc disease” in his back. The health risk also makes me leery of wanting to trade for him then give a big extension.

    There are other fish to fry out there. Ervin Santana may be available, Theo is listening on Matt Garza, and Darvish is still expected to be posted. I don’t want to back up the truck for Hamels with other options out there I think are preferable in terms of cost and health risk.

  37. D-Lite says:

    The Yanks would have to clear payroll to add Hamels this season, no? Cashman just signed a new deal and I’m betting he wants to build that young generation of talent to give him more flexibility going forward. The depth is at 2nd tier pitchers and high end catchers, so deal from that. Two of Warren, Phelps, Mitchell, perhaps Betances and Romine/Murphy for a good mid rotation guy is probably the move he makes. That might bring Danks.

  38. Bryan G says:

    I’m with Mike. If you could get the Phils to take Betances and Phelps/Warren/Mitchell instead of Banuelos I’d feel a lot better about the deal. Of course the Phils don’t particularly care what would make me feel better.

  39. Matt Montero says:

    Is it too early to talk draft? Obviously, the prospect rankings are going to change completely, but anyone see anyone they like? Right now I’m liking

    Stephen Piscotty, 3rd/OF (Stanford)
    Jake Barrett, RHP (Arizona State)
    Carson Fulmer, RHP (All Saints Academy HS)— tough sign away from vandy

  40. Howard Cosell says:

    I’d prefer to swap out Banuelos and Noesi for Dellin Betances and either David Phelps, Adam Warren, or D.J. Mitchell, but that’s just me. The Yankees have catching depth and can afford to give up Romine, and I don’t really sweat losing kids in short season leagues, no even ones as good as Williams.

    This version in a heartbeat…..


  41. bankers hours says:

    Sign Buerlue and Darvish and keep the kids. CC Darvish Buerlue Nova and Burnett, put Hughes in the pen.

  42. Mike says:

    I wouldn’t trade for Hamels. I know he puts up good stats, but when I watch him I just don’t see an ace or even a no. 2. He’ll be 28 at the end of this year, and his fastball sits in the high 80′s, low 90′s.

    From what I’ve seen of Manny, he can be every bit as good as Hamels in a couple of years, maybe even better. He’s also only 19, so the Yanks will be getting all of his prime years. A top 3 of Manny, Nova, and Betances in 5 years seems to be very formidable.

    I wouldn’t give top prospects for Hamels and give him a 6+/100+ extension when you’ll get 3, maybe 4 more of his top years. Just trade guys like Romine, Sanchez, Phelps, Warren for a solid no. 3 like Danks. Or just take a chance on Darvish without making any trades.

    • CC says:

      Gregg Maddux used to have an average FB velocity of 85. Was he not an ace? Fastball velocity only means so much. Manny, who I like very much, is still a lotery ticket. Him translating into Cole Hamels is so far off and such a long shot. Cole Hamels is the real deal and now has years of experience in the major leagues to prove it, something Banuelos does not. If you don’t judge Cole by stats, I don’t really know how you can evaluate him…?

    • Jesse says:

      I bet when you watch him you don’t see him as a number 1 or 2 because Halladay and Lee are in front of him.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      -Gets plenty of strikeouts
      -Limits walks
      -Induces ground balls
      -In his prime/on the right side of 30

      What more do you want?

      • Mike says:

        I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the pessimist in me or cause he’s a Philly guy, but I just don’t see him as an ace. He’s reached 15 wins once in his career, and has had 10 losses in 3 of the last 4. All while pitching in the very weak NL East and for probably the best team in the NL since 2007. I’m not so sure that he would transfer to the AL East that easily.

        I guess to me he’s one of those guys you just refuse to like. If I have a guy of Manny’s potential who would be just 21 going into next season, I’m not going to invest 6/100+ and Manny plus other top prospects for Hamels. I’d rather get a second-tier guy and have him and Nova compete for the 2 spot, then maybe go after Hamels if he becomes a FA next year.

        • candyforstalin says:

          jkvbu icya dvcadk vbsdiov badc vogbvvdcbgdfn.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          You’re using wins and losses to evaluate a pitcher. That’s where you’re going wrong.

          • Mike says:

            The only thing I’m saying is that I’ve seen a ton of his starts, and whenever I watch him I don’t see a guy who you give away the farm for. I’d just rather have a guy like Banuelos who could potentially make the rotation at some point next year, and who could be better than Hamels 3 years from now.

            4 years from now I’d rather have a possible rotation of an aging CC, Nova, Banuelos, Noesi, and Betances than an aging CC, aging Hamels, and whatever they have left after the trade and whoever else they have to sign to fill out the rotation.

            • FIPster Doofus says:

              I’d agree with you if prospects weren’t so notorious for flaming out. Banuelos is a long way from making an impact, in all likelihood. And with his control issues, he’s far from a guarantee to do anything noteworthy in the bigs. I’d rather have an in-his-prime, elite lefty in Hamels than a lotto ticket in Banuelos.

              I understand where you’re coming from with to respect to keeping a high-potential prospect. But if you can get someone great and relatively young back, you have to do it, IMO. So, for Hamels, I’d definitely give up Banuelos. For lesser pitchers like Danks and Gio Gonzalez, no.

            • David, Jr. says:

              I’m commenting on this because it’s misconceptions are at the core of how fans overvalue prospects and undervalue proven performers.

              “Aging Hamels” – He will be 28 in December. In three years Hamels will be early into his prime years.

              “Banuelos …. could be better than Hamels” – The chance of this is maybe 5%. Banuelos is a young, undersized pitching prospect with very good stuff who hasn’t yet dominated higher minor league levels. There have been hundreds of these, and hardly any have ended up as good as Cole Hamels.

              I don’t believe that the proposed deal is far off at all.

  43. Tom Zig says:

    Prospects! Gotta hug ‘em all!

    Jokes aside.

    That’s a big package for Hamels. Probably enough to get it done if it were any other team. But Philly is in win-now mode with their aging core and I don’t see them wanting to jeopardize that by trading away an in-his-prime lefty #1-#2 starter.

  44. YankeeFan16 says:

    That package is too much I would give up Betances, Romine,Cervelli and another prospect if there weren’t any other options out there, but if I were cashman I would keep the kids and sign Mark Buerhle and Yu Darvish. Imagine a rotation of CC/Darvish/Buerhle/Nova/Burnett…that would be a very good rotation. Heck it’s alot better than last years rotation and we made it to the playoffs

  45. YankeeFan16 says:

    That package is too much I would give up Betances, Romine,Cervelli and another prospect if there weren’t any other options out there, but if I were cashman I would keep the kids and sign Mark Buerhle and Yu Darvish. Imagine a rotation of CC/Darvish/Buerhle/Nova/Burnett…that would be a very good rotation. Heck it will be better than last years rotation and we made it to the playoffs!

    • Mike says:

      Exactly. No need to commit that much when you can get 2 quality guys for the same annual price and for less years, and no prospects. Just wait for him if he’s FA next year if they want him so bad. If you’re gonna even think about trading Montero/Banuelos, might as well make a push for Felix or Kershaw, who are both younger and better.

      • YankeeFan16 says:

        Hey mike I think we are the only people who do not want to trade the kids for anything less than king Felix or Kershaw. Heck imagine we could have both lol. But who would you prefer Kershaw or king Felix?

  46. Soam says:

    I wouldn’t give up that much for 1 year of Hamels. Of all the recent ace trades(Lee x2, Halladay, Sabathia, Greinke etc) that would be by far the most any team has given up. We’d be getting bent over in that deal. Though if we were given a window to reach an extension agreement with him, it would probably sway my opinion.

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