The Philadelphia Phillies have “zero” interest in trading free agents-to-be Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Stark calls the storyline of the Phillies interest in dealing Hamels and Victorino “exaggerated”. An unnamed official that looked into the availability of Hamels and Victorino told Stark that the duo isn’t going anywhere this summer.
The Cole Hamels/Shane Victorino rumor mill started churning roughly 10 days ago when Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made a few comments regarding his pending free agents. In the midst of a slow start, Amaro told reporters that if the Phillies weren’t able to turn things around they could find themselves as sellers at the trade deadline.
These comments spawned all kinds of rumors and Hamels and Victorino took center stage as the club’s most likely trade chips. The fire spread when it was reported that Toronto Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, checked in with the Phillies regarding Hamels and Victorino.
Even Stark’s co-writer, Jim Bowden, got in the mix this week. Bowden made a case for why the Phillies (and Red Sox) should become sellers this summer.
While all of this makes for an interesting storyline, Stark’s source said there’s no chance the Phillies are trading Hamels or Victorino this summer. The unnamed official said that the only way the Phillies will be looking to move veterans is if they were “really out of it”, something that doesn’t appear likely to happen.
We looked at why the Phillies weren’t likely to become sellers, especially when it comes to Hamels and Victorino, yesterday. Beyond the fact that the Phillies are built for now and not later, Hamels figures to play a key role in the team’s transition post-Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. The Phillies can also ill-afford to subtract offense if they want to compete this season, making a Victorino trade extremely unlikely.
On top of these reasons, the Phillies have won six straight games and seven of their last eight. Though they remain in the basement of the National League East, the Phillies are only four games back of the first place Atlanta Braves.
For more on the Phillies be sure to check out That Balls Outta Here.