- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and the agent for Cole Hamels continue to work toward a six-year deal that could get consummated early this week, and it's a contract that could wind up in the $140 million range and make Hamels one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball history.
However, it's always possible that those negotiations could stall, and Hamels could decide he wants to test the free agent market this winter. Amaro has always done his due diligence as GM of the Phillies, and he's prepared for such a scenario. While contract talks continue, Amaro is monitoring the trade market in advance of the July 31 trade deadline, and there are several clubs that would be willing to trade significant talent for Hamels, even for a two-month rental and even with the new collective bargaining agreement which says that you can't reap draft-pick compensation for a player who didn't spend the entire season with your club.
Before Sunday night's game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, I asked Rangers manager Ron Washington if his club would be willing to trade significant prospects for a rental. He said they would (although not top prospect Jurickson Profar) because you have to take advantage of their window to win a World Series. I also briefly spoke with Angels GM Jerry Dipoto who conveyed the trade market was extremely difficult this year with so many teams in the race, but was holding out hope they’d find a way to make a deal between now and the deadline.
If you're looking for the ideal trade fits for the Phillies and Hamels, if the two parties can't come to terms this week, you have to start with those two clubs mentioned above, but they're not the only possibilities. Here's a look at the five best trade fits for Cole Hamels.