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Phillies to ‘revisit the conversation’ on Cole Hamels with trade deadline gone


Cole Hamels is a franchise icon in Philadelphia. (Christopher Szagola/Icon Sportswire)

Shortly after the trade deadline, Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski met with the media via Zoom to discuss the three trades that the team made ahead of Friday’s trade deadline.

In the hour or so between the press conference concluding and the Phillies beginning a weekend series in Pittsburgh, Dombrowski said the plan was to discuss whether the organization was going to pursue a reunion with former World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

“It’s a topic that we need to revisit, actually, because we just did all these type of things,” Dombrowski said Friday. “We like Cole — there’s a lot of things that we like about him. But now we need to sit down actually after we are done here we’re going to try to revisit the conversation ourselves and see where it takes us.”

It’s a vague statement, probably by design. If the Phillies aren’t interested in a reunion with Hamels, they aren’t going to publicly insult a franchise icon. Even if they are interested in Hamels, there’s no guarantee that the two sides will ultimately reach a deal because there’s likely to be other suitors, perhaps some who would offer Hamels a better chance to win a second World Series title.

Hamels — a four-time All-Star — held a showcase for interested teams earlier this month, with 20 teams watching him throw. MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki said at the time that Hamels threw two 30-pitch bullpen sessions, with his fastball averaging 88.5 mph and reaching 90 mph. Zolecki noted that Hamels did have some issues locating his off-speed pitches, but added that they had “good action.”

The Phillies did acquire Kyle Gibson in a trade with the Texas Rangers Friday, and he’ll take a spot in the rotation. It’s not yet clear whether he’ll replace Matt Moore or Vince Velasquez in the rotation. Dombrowski said Friday that the Phillies hope Zach Eflin will return from right knee patellar tendinitis in two-three weeks, and then he’d take the final spot in the rotation.

If all goes as planned, the Phillies might not need another starter like Hamels. But things have a way of not going according to plan in baseball, especially when you’re deep into a 162-game season a year after playing just 60 games. Having an insurance option with extended postseason experience might not be a bad a idea.

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