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MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Aren’t Interested in Trading Cole Hamels; Yankees Could Turn Attention to Cliff Lee

July 18th, 2014 at 10:53 AM
By Douglas Rush

Cole Hamels name has come up over the last couple of days as a potential trade candidate for both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox had been scouting Hamels for a while now and had seen him as a potential replacement for Jon Lester if he leaves as a free agent, while the Yankees could have viewed him as a replacement for CC Sabathia if he's forced to retire after the season due to a knee injury.

However as it turns out, the Philadelphia Phillies are not inclined to trade one of their ace pitchers this summer, as Rob Bradford of WEEI reported on Friday that the Phillies are not looking to deal Hamels to anyone at the trade deadline and will keep their 30-year-old lefty instead despite the strong rumors of teams trying to land him.

"According a major league source, the Phillies are currently showing no inclination to trade Cole Hamels. Hamels has been the subject of rumors involving the Red Sox and Yankees recently, with the Boston Globe suggesting the Red Sox might be viewing the lefty as a top-of-the-rotation replacement for Jon Lester. The 30 year old will be owed $90 million over the next four years, with a team option for 2019 worth $20 million. Hamels has made 16 starts this season, going 3-5 with a 2.93 ERA. He has made at least 31 starts in each of his last six seasons, totaling a 3.30 ERA during that span. The Phillies are currently 10 games out of first-place in the National League East  and the wild card race, heading into the second half at 42-53."
Hamels, currently 3-5 with a 2.93 ERA, 106 strikeouts in 107.1 innings in 16 starts, would have been a boost to the Yankees rotation that has CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda all on the disabled list, but it looks like the Yankees will have to turn elsewhere for another starter and with the Phillies at 42-53, the next obvious choice could be Hamels teammate, Cliff Lee.
Lee, who has been on the disabled list with a strained elbow flexor since the middle of May, will likely make his return to the team on Monday to start against the San Francisco Giants. The rumors of the Yankees being interest in Lee have started since the end of April after Nova initially went on the DL with a season-ending elbow injury that required Tommy John Surgery.
Lee, currently 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 68 innings, has had interest from the Yankees in the past, as they nearly acquired him at the trade deadline four years ago from the Seattle Mariners and then heavily pursued him as a free agent in the winter of 2010, but lost out to the Phillies when they signed him to a five-year, $125 million deal.
The Yankees could be able to land Lee and inherit the remainder of his contract, which is the rest of his $25 million salary for 2014, $25 million for 2015 and a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016. With Lee's contract and being on the disabled list for over two months, a deal likely wouldn't cost them top prospects in a deal from the Phillies, as the salary relief the Phillies are looking for would be great enough to make the trade.


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