Philadelphia Phillies icon Cole Hamels will hold a showcase for potential suitors later this month in Texas, according to Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports.
Heyman says that Hamels will throw for those interested on July 16. That would set the four-time All-Star up to sign with a team in mid-to-late July, and potential make an impact in a pennant race, not that dissimilar to what Pedro Martinez did with the Phillies in 2009.
Now 37, Hamels was limited to just 3 1/3 innings in the 2020 season as a member of the Atlanta Braves because of left arm and shoulder injuries. Given that the Braves were up 3-1 in the NLCS over the Los Angeles Dodgers at one point, it’s not impossible that they would have won the World Series if Hamels – who signed a one-year/$18 million deal – had been able to make an impact.
An oblique injury cost Hamels five or so starts in 2019, but he still posted a 3.81 ERA and 4.09 FIP in 141 2/3 innings for the Chicago Cubs. That type of production could appeal to a team in need of a back-end-of-the-rotation starter. If you want to get really idealistic, it was only three years ago that Hamels posted a 2.36 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 12 starts after the Cubs acquired him from the Texas Rangers.
It may be that Hamels – who has tossed 2,698 career regular season innings – has been caught up to by father time. However, it’s also possible that by attempting to pitch just a portion of the season, Hamels will be able to stay healthier than he did in 2020.
Could the Phillies be a suitor? One would think they’ll at least attend his showcase, as they could certainly use another reliable starting pitcher. Hamels did recently list his Newtown Square home for $2.5 million, but that wouldn’t really prevent him from returning for a few months. After all, Hamels spoke of a desire to return to the place that he spent the first nine-and-a-half seasons of his career in two offseasons ago before ultimately landing with the Braves.
At the same time, Hamels has to recognize that even if his plan is to pitch beyond 2021, there are no guarantees at this stage. As he looks to win his second World Series title, Hamels could very well end up having more qualified suitors than the team he won the 2008 World Series MVP with.
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