Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and club president Pat Gillick have been listening to offers on Hamels for months. They have made it clear that they are ready to pull the trigger when they get one they like. By contract, Hamels has already conceded to accept a trade to nine clubs. He can veto 20 other destinations -– but that doesn’t mean he necessarily would do that.
“I have not been approached,” he said. “When I’m approached, then I can make a decision and provide an answer about a team.
“But I’m open-minded on everybody and everything.”
Even Toronto and Houston?
“Yes,” he said. “I’ve always been open-minded. I will think about everything.”
Hamels’ average fastball velocity in May is 93.59 mph, a monthly figure he did not reach last season until August. His strikeout rate, over a full season, would rank among the best of his career.
His walk rate is dropping, and after allowing seven homers in his first three starts, his home run rate also is returning to normal. Hamels has allowed only one homer in his last seven outings, none in his last four.
I constantly make this point in the fantasy leagues I play in. Of course, what’s considered “fair” is often the sticking point.
“We’re not trying to make the perfect deal. In any deal we make, to put it bluntly, both sides have to be winners,” team president Pat Gillick told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “People think you make a deal to take advantage of someone else. No, that isn’t the case because you want to go back and have repeat business with that person. When you’re making a deal, you want to make a fair deal. He’s not looking to make a deal that’s going to bring the house down.”
“You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone, particularly left-handed, better than him,” Amaro says. “Debate it all you want, from the sabermetrics to scout evaluations, but he is as good as there is going to be out there.
“No respect to the guy out there in Los Angeles (Clayton Kershaw) or to Felix (Hernandez), but he was as good as any pitcher in baseball the second half of last season. If you match up his numbers from late May to the end of the season, he’s as good as it gets. And he tends to be a better pitcher late in the season.”
Spoken like a true salesman, and a GM who thinks he has a Ferrari Testarossa sitting in the showroom and isn’t about to sell it at a Ford Fiesta price.
Week 1, rave reviews. Clay Buchholz at the top of his game, newly minted Rick Porcello with a strong debut marred by one bad pitch, Justin Masterson triumphantly returning, Wade Miley battling the Bombers and Joe Kelly dazzling them.
Second go-round, not so much: Only Porcello so far this week has managed to complete five innings. Buchholz was hit with a seven-spot in the first inning Sunday night in New York and gave up 10 runs (9 earned) in 3⅓ innings in the Bronx. Masterson was gone with two out in the fifth Tuesday against the Nationals, after a yield of seven runs. And on Wednesday, Miley, who pitches like he is on speed dial, was Made Miley in his Fenway debut, out of the game with one out in the third, charged with seven runs.
The Red Sox are doing their level best to improve the run scoring environment.
OK, can the Phillies stop asking the Red Sox about center fielder Mookie Betts and catcher Blake Swihart now?
So, is it over? Will the Phillies simply turn their attention to teams other than the Red Sox when trying to move Hamels? Or might the Phils come to their senses and target the next layer of prospects in the Sox’s bountiful farm system?
I would imagine that the Sox’s view of the Phillies’ stance can be summed up in two words: “Their problem.”