Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies are doing background work on several players in the Boston Red Sox system. Catcher Christian Vazquez, outfielder Mookie Betts, and pitcher Matt Barnes are mentioned by name. The Red Sox are on Hamels no-trade list that was recently updated. Rosenthal theorizes that Hamels would likely require the Red Sox to pick up his 2019 option for $20 million dollars.
Cole Hamels to the Red Sox rumors is nothing new. The two teams have scouted each others system extensively in the past few months. Rosenthal suggests that the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Betts, and catchers Vazquez and Blake Swihart. The odds that the Red Sox truly do not want to part with BOTH of their catching prospects is likely slim, as the reports of them wanting to keep all these players is likely a bargaining tactic.
A deal for Hamels will likely hinge on who winds up with free agent starter Jon Lester. The Red Sox are reportedly interested in bringing Lester back to Boston, but if he chooses to sign elsewhere you would have to think that Hamel would become the Red Sox number one target.
The Phillies trading of Cole Hamels seems imminent. The front office is looking to rebuild this team, and Hamels would help do that with the package of prospects that he would command. If/when the Phillies decide to deal the 2008 World Series MVP they need to make sure they get a decent return. The Phillies haven’t had much luck in recent memory trading proven talent for prospects. Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence are a few names that come to mind. The trading of Cole Hamels could help shape the franchise for years to come, or keep the Phillies right were they are now; Dead last.