It’s not a fire sale yet in Philadelphia. As of now they are not officially shopping big-ticket veterans Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. They just want teams to know that they’re willing to listen to offers.
So if you’re a team that wants to get better fast and is willing to take on a bunch of salary and give up a bunch of prized prospects, the Phillies want to hear from you.
I can’t understate the financial responsibility you would be taking on by acquiring either Lee or Hamels. Lee is owed $50 million for the next two years. Hamels just signed a six-year, $144 million extension. I’m sure the Phillies would be willing to pay some of that, but still.
On the plus side, think of what you would be getting. Cliff Lee, a big-time clutch left-handed pitcher who is still probably in the prime of his career (at least for another year or two). Cole Hamels, a stud righty who tops 200 innings just about every season, who isn’t even thirty yet.
Between the two, I’d definitely be more willing to take the risk on Hamels. Guy is never hurt. He’s still pretty young for a pitcher. He’s making a lot of money but not the absurd amount Cliff Lee is pulling in.
Actually, it seems like it would be stupid for the Phillies to trade Hamels, even if they can get several prospects. Dude is an innings-eater who almost always ends up with a winning record. And he’s not even thirty. He’s bound to put it together here and run off two or three great seasons.
Lee would make more sense to deal because he’s getting up there and you would be dumping at least part of that ridic salary. On the other hand, the guy is money in the heat of late-season and postseason battle. On the other other hand, you have to get to the late season with a chance to make the postseason for him to be worth the $25 million/per.
Right now the Phillies are not contenders. There’s nothing more pathetic than a non-contender filled with high-priced veterans. They’re like the Red Sox two years ago. Maybe they think by trading off a couple of these guys and getting younger, they can re-invigorate themselves like Boston did.
But first they have to find trade partners.