Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Phillies trade deadline update; odds say Cole Hamels stays

Phillies - Cole Hamels

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
July 30 2014, 2:15PM EDT.
@Philabaseball

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is a little more than 24 hours away, so it's no surprise rumors involving the Phillies are intensifying. That said, it's important to not get caught up in false leads and unfounded speculation.   

Here's what we know definitively right now:

  • Cole Hamels is likely remaining in Philadelphia. Despite rumors to the contrary, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is not actively shopping Hamels. If a club were to inquire the asking price would be massive and likely include a demand of at least three premier prospects. A logical trade partner would be Dodgers as they have the prospects and have shown interest, but they don't want to take on  the $90 million he's owed over the next four years unless the Phillies throw money into the deal. That won't happen, so odds are Hamels remains in Philadelphia.
  • Of all the potential players to move, A.J. Burnett and Marlon Byrd are the two most likely to be dealt. Nearly a dozen teams have expressed interest in acquiring Burnett, but his contract may be a hurdle as he's 37-years-old and signed through next year with a mutual option worth $15 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause in is contract, making it that much more difficult to swing a deal.
  • Byrd is one of the top outfielders rumored to be on the move and the $8 million he's owed in 2015 isn't a ridiculous figure.  At his current pace, he's on track to hit a career high number of homers and would fit nicely in Seattle. The Yankees, Pirates and Dodgers have also demonstrated interest.
  • Cliff Lee's odds of being dealt would be much higher if he had pitched well in his last two appearances, but that didn't happen so odds are he remains with the Phillies. Lee's stock right now is low, so it may be in the best interest of the Phillies to retain him and explore a possible deal in the off-season. The 35-year-old is under contract through next season and is owed $25 million. He has a vesting option for 2016, but he would need to reach 400 innings pitched over the next two seasons and that's unlikely to happen. 
  • A source close to Amaro told me late last week that the Phillies front office "desperately" wants to move Jonathan Papelbon, but the market isn't there right now for a closer. It also doesn't help that Papelbon is owed $13 million next year. The Angels and Tigers, two potential landing spots, solidified their bullpens earlier this month, so odds are the Phillies retain Papelbon and revisit a possible move in the off-season.
  • The Tigers, Dodgers and Pirates have all expressed interest in reliever Antonio Bastardo and it's likely the Phillies would not need much to move the 28-year-old lefty. He's eligible for arbitration after this season and he's regressed a bit, still falling victim too many times to the long ball. 
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