Phillies Trade Notes: Hamels and Byrd – Phillies Nation

Phillies Trade Notes: Hamels and Byrd

Could Cole  Hamels be shipping up to Boston?

Could Cole Hamels be shipping up to Boston?

Put this into the “where there is smoke, there is fire” category of sports. The Phillies continue to say that they are not trading starter Cole Hamels, but the Phillies scouts picked an interesting game to attend Thursday night. Jayson Stark of ESPN is reporting that the Phillies sent scouts to the  Boston Red Sox AA (Portland Sea Dogs) game Thursday night after the Red Sox inquired about Cole Hamels. Maybe its all a coincidence? Maybe the Phillies scouts just happened to be in the area? Well that would be one hell of a coincidence considering who was pitching for Portland.

Pitching for the Sea Dogs Thursday night was the Red Sox number one prospect Henry Owens. The 22-year old California native was the starting pitcher for Team USA in the 2014 MLB Futures Game this year. Owens didn’t have his best stuff on Thursday surrendering five earned runs, on five hits, in just four innings of work. The big lanky lefty did manage to fan six batters though. Owens has a 13-4 record for Portland this season with an impressive 2.56 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .197 off of him this year, and he is striking out over a batter an inning (123 K in 116 IP).

The only other player for Portland Thursday night, who is also a top 10 prospect for the Red Sox, was catcher/DH Blake Swihart. The switch hitter, and former first round pick in 2011, went 2-4 at the plate while scoring the Sea Dogs only run. Swihart posses a slash line of .298/.353/.489 in his first season at AA. The 22 year old has 11 home runs with 53 runs batted in. With Tommy Joseph‘s catching career in question Swihart would be a nice piece to have.

While the Phillies have said that they are not going to trade their 30 year old ace, you have to assume that there is something to these rumors. The Red Sox current ace Jon Lester has tabled contract talks to the offseason after both sides were unable to come to an extension. The Red Sox could fear that Lester wont be back, and look to add Hamels as a comparable replacement. If Thursday night was Cole Hamels last start in Philadelphia he certainly went out strong. The lefty went eight innings, giving up just one earned run while striking out 10. He even managed to ramp up his fast ball to 96 MPH.

While any trade for Cole Hamels would be sure to yield a great return for the Phillies, a trade for outfielder Marlon Byrd probably would not. On Thursday the Seattle Mariners, who were said to be interested in Byrd, decided to bring back Kendrys Morales. Morales, who has a little over two months left on his contract, brought the Twins back a 25-year old AAA relief pitcher named Stephen Pryor. Pryor was not in MLB.Com’s top 25 prospects for the Seattle Mariners, and he likely wont be in the Twins top 25 next season. The right handed reliever posted a 4.65 ERA in 31 innings of work.

Marlon Byrd is obviously having a stronger season than Kendrys Morales, but Morales is five years younger than Byrd, and isn’t signed for next season. Byrd also has a…. wait for it….. vesting option for 2016 when he will be 38-years old. If the Phillies end up finding a buyer for Marlon Byrd then you are probably looking at a Jeremy Horst type player in return.



  1. PaMikeyDC

    July 25, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Which btw Horst stinks…a lot of stink actually.
    He was once good, what happened?

    • wbramh

      July 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

      He probably received a few pitching tip from McClure… or Aumont.

    • internet user

      July 25, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      I remember when DashTreyhorn said that Jeremy Horst was still pretty good and if you did not believe him, he did not know what to tell you.

  2. Keith L

    July 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I seriously think the only two players the Phillies would get anything decent for is Hamels and Bastardo. Personally, I’d rather see them keep Hamels to build off for the future.

  3. Double Trouble Del

    July 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

    There’s got to be a better package than Owens and Swigart. That should not get the deal done. Pat, any speculation on what more advanced players would be included?

    • Pat Egan

      July 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Honestly, if you look at the recent history of ace pitchers getting traded, a package of Owens or Swihart would be pretty good. Johan Santana netted Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber and Carlos Gomez for the Twins. Brewers got Matt Laporta, Zach Johnson, and Michael Brantley (as a PTBNL).

      I imagine the Red Sox don’t envision Lester back, and don’t want to sweat it out in the off season waiting for his price to go WAY above what they offered. So Hamels, and his contract, would make sense for them. I would be surprised if he gets traded though. But I’m really high on Owens, truthfully don’t know much about Swihart. But if you think the Red Sox will give you Boegarts, Owens, and Swihart and 1 more guy for Hamel then you will be disappointed if he is traded.
      Thanks for reading

      • Double Trouble Del

        July 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

        Maybe not Boegarts but perhaps one of Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts or Garin Cecchini.

      • wbramh

        July 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        Boegarts was supposed to be the Mike Trout of 2014 but he’s been playing on par with the rest of the Sox. I do believe he has the potential for stardom but we’re certainly not seeing it this year.

        If I ran the Sox front office, I’d seriously consider a one-for-one Boegarts for Hamels offer.
        A proven ace pitcher vs high potential?

        If you’re the Cavs and have a choice between two players, do you keep the very promising but raw talent of Wiggins with his 35 college games behind him or sign Kevin Love? Seems a no-brainer to me.

  4. Hogey's Role

    July 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Once again you asked for too much for Byrd and the mariners went somewhere else… There seems to be no sense of urgency here from Ruben and co….

    The only hope is that the mariners feel they might still need a right handed power hitting outfielder and we can send them Byrd… Pay off his salary this year and next year and maybe we can get a decent prospect back…

    I hate the thought of trading cole hamels, but he is our best trade chip and by the time the phillies get there heads out of their asses and get some talented prospects, cole, most likely will be past his prime Into his late 30s….

    I personally do not believe this current front office is capable of pulling off a quick turnaround and becoming competitive in the near future

    • Double Trouble Del

      July 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

      What did the Phillies ask for in return for Byrd? Were actual names exchanged? I saw all sorts of ridiculous theories on this site for who would come back from the Mariners’ side but never saw a substantiated report of what the Phillies were expecting.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 25, 2014 at 10:06 am

        Mlbtraderumors had a report that they asked too high for Byrd and the mariners went elsewhere

      • wbramh

        July 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Good question, Del.
        Seems we’re missing some fundamental information here.

        It’s possible the Phillies brain trust was undervaluing Byrd and Seattle made the mistake.

        What I see in Byrd is a pretty durable 36-year-old (better than ever) who has far more upside than an Ibanez at the same age – especially in the field. His vesting option should not be all that scary to another club.

      • Double Trouble Del

        July 25, 2014 at 11:38 am

        If you start at the bottom, its impossible to ask for more. I would hope that the Phillies asked for more than slop as a return.

    • psujoe

      July 25, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Byrd refused to waive hie no trade clause to the Mariners unless they picked up his option year.

  5. Jael

    July 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Keep cole hamels I lovr him if the phillies . He is a phillies for life .

    The Phillies need to keep cole hamels cliff lee Aj Burnett David Buchanan we are great next year

    • Hogey's Role

      July 25, 2014 at 11:57 am

      That’s the same line of thinking that’s kept us losing the last 3 years….

  6. wbramh

    July 25, 2014 at 10:27 am

    If the Phillies can only get a “Jeremy Horst type player” in return for Marlon Byrd, what does that tell you they’d get in return for Dom Brown?


    When you consider the fact that Byrd is having his best years ever in his mid 30s, I would think it’s a reasonable bet that he’ll still be a viable RF for the next two seasons. So rather than dump Byrd for garbage, keep him. It’s not Byrd’s salary that’s killing this club.

    As for moving Cole Hamels, on one hand it would be a good idea since the club is years away from competing. Hamels might be 40 before we have a contending team again in Philadelphia. On the other hand, Ruben is our GM. He might accidentally trade Cole to the Harrisburg Senators for a player to be named later.

    • schmenkman

      July 25, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Unlike Byrd, Brown is still young and cheap, and if you squint you can see a change of scenery possibly helping the former top prospect in all MLB.

      • wbramh

        July 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

        Agree, and as I’ve squinted here before, I think the ideal landing place for Dom Brown is Detroit. If anyone can get Dom’s once promising career back on track it’s Wally Joyner.

        I’m among the few who believe Brown’s six weeks worth of all star quality play was not a fluke. A few games or a series playing over his head – maybe, but not for six weeks.

        The kid (not really a kid anymore) has great natural talent but he’s like a classic Jaguar (the car). Keep it constantly tuned up and it’s fine. Put him, er, it in the garage overnight and the next morning it’s leaking oil from everywhere, stalls out and is impossible to steer.

        But the Phillies are not likely to benefit again from those repressed talents nor are they likely to receive anything of worth in return for Dom in a trade.

    • "Big Ed" Delahanty

      July 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Good call, Wbramh. I think Joyner was responsible for helping Dom breakout last year, and when he split town…well…you know what Dom’s doing (or not doing. Lol)

  7. wbramh

    July 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Pat – Is it possible Ruben tried to trade Byrd to the Mariners literally for Jeremy Horst not realizing Horst was already the Phillies’ property?

    You’re right. Now I’m just being cruel.

  8. Ken Bland

    July 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

    That’s a nice hedge against losing Jon Lester. You have a long term signee in Hamels, and he’s probably at the top end, but within the budget the BoSox want to pay a guy of Cole’s caliber. Course letting Lester get to free agency brings the Yankees into the equation, so if by some miracle Cole winds up a Sox, the pressure to replace Lester could be extreme.

    I’d say the chances of the following being alive arehigher than highly speculative, but I wonder if the Phils might be exploring to any extent the possibility of reacquiring Vic. He’s had a year where you better be paid up on med insurance primos, but you’d be locked in for just over a year. It doesn’t make sense on a lot of angles but when you got no plan, you never know what the thought process is.

    The Orioles are holding up on a tough west coast swing, and the BoSox cooled from a post break good start, so it’s darned close to sell time in Beantwon, which might make Vic a trade candidate, as well as Koji, which reduces the chance of Paps being dealt to practically nil.

    Phils and the BoSox open the ’15 season. If Hamels pitches for Boston (am I forgetting a Sox starter if Lester’s gone except maybe a rejuvenated Buchholz), I hope he throws a 2 hit shutout. Maybe you deal him for an unfrozen Teddy Ballgame, but that’s about it.

  9. wbramh

    July 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

    As for Henry Owens and Blake Swihart…

    Sounds to me like Owens might have the potential to be a #3 starter on some team assuming he ever learns to hit the corners with his junk and keep the ball down. He certainly doesn’t have the arm of an ace having neither speed nor mastery to his (88-92 mph) fastball.
    At 6′-7″ and 200 ibs. Owens sounds like a skinny Aumont but without Aumont’s sinking 92-94 mph fastball. Owens’ 65 mph junk stuff will only go so far in the Bigs.

    Swihart’s top end potential at catcher is probably as someone’s backup. Scouts are already projecting him as an eventual first baseman, but his size, skills and stats suggest otherwise. He’s small compared to today’s prototype catchers and he’s no Buster Posey at the plate.
    Considering the dearth of catching quality across the league, he’ll probably be the perennial throw-in player in trades until he retires quietly from the game by age 30.

    So is Ruben looking to land one of these guys or both by dangling Cole Hamels in front of the Red Sox? And to what purpose?

    • Lefty

      July 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Nice scouting report. What purpose indeed? I don’t want to see anyone moved the same way Pence and Vic were. Get a decent return or you’re just making moves to make them. I would like to see them get something substantial for Hamels.

  10. Lefty

    July 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Thank goodness Amaro has firmly stated that the ridiculous notion they would release Ryan Howard is untrue. The thought that they would throw away 60 million was making me ill. There ia no way you can convince me they would be better off that way. I don’t care how poorly he hits. At the very least get something for your money, whether that be a platoon situation, or-Sheesh I don’t know- at the very least a guy to announce and make the opposing manager waste a pitcher in the late innings. For god sakes get something, anything for the money.

    • wbramh

      July 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

      For a guaranteed $60 million, Ryan should at least be asked to run the scoreboard or hawk hot dogs in the stands.

      • Lefty

        July 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Subway sandwiches, no hot dogs. The dog shooting is phanatic’s job. Hey! maybe Howard could don the furry green? Anything but releasing him.

  11. Lefty

    July 25, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Sometimes you will lose deals by asking too much, it’s the nature of the game. IMO it’s better to do that than the way they traded away Pence or Lee for – well not much.

    • wbramh

      July 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Yep. As the old adage goes, “The best deals are often the ones never made.”

  12. LVPhilsFan

    July 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Maybe we can also pry loose one or two of those Pawtucket players who knocked around the IronPigs last night.

  13. Brian

    July 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Sell High, buy low…..Hamels stock isn’t gonna get much higher. His stuff is at it’s peak. Phils have no chance to be good in the next few years, so why watch Hamels be the next 1972 Steve Carlton……Trade him, get good young players and they can all come up to the bigs with Crawford, Nola and others. Thanks for the World Series Cole! enjoy Boston…

  14. Jin

    July 26, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I would trade away Byrd. And also trade Hamels. And they can also get rid of Paps and that centerfielder that can’t throw the ball past second base

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