Cole Hamels doesn’t sound like somebody who wants to leave the Phillies anytime soon.
Hamels presents the best trade chip for the team.
He is 30, and despite missing the first three weeks this season with left biceps tendonitis, he has been a durable starter, averaging 32.3 starts over the previous six seasons.
And there is one other factor – he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. This year he has a 2.93 ERA and the most deceptive stat is his 3-5 record.
Hamels is currently 74th in the major leagues in run support, with the Phillies averaging 3.63 runs per start.
His contract averages $22 million for the next four years and that doesn’t include a club option in 2019 with a $6 million buyout.
Still, these aren’t outlandish numbers for a quality starter.
So his name will come up in trade rumors (although this reporter thinks the Phillies shouldn’t trade him because front-line starters are hard to come by).
Either way, he understands as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches he will be a popular topic on the rumor mill.
And despite the Phillies 42-52 record, Hamels doesn’t sound like somebody who wants to take the first trip out of town to contender island.
“I enjoy playing for this team, this organization, especially for these fans because I have great memories and want to continue them,” he said following Saturday’s 5-3 loss in 10 innings to the Washington Nationals in a game he allowed three earned runs in seven innings.
He’s also realistic enough to know that anything can happen.
“When you enjoy being able to play in front of a city and organization, you want to be able to do it for as much and as long as possible but you do understand the nature of the business and what they have to do and their obligation to the fans and trying to put out a winning team and if things don’t’ work then they have to make moves,” he said. “All I can do is go out and stick to my routine and try to win.”
According to Foxsports.com, Hamels can be traded to nine teams without his permission – the Los Angeles Dodgers, the LA Angels, St. Louis, Washington, Atlanta, the New York Yankees, Boston, Texas and San Diego.
As a player who helped the Phillies to five consecutive playoff berths from 2007 through 2011, Hamels still has faith in this current group.
“We have an older team,” he said. “We won before and know how to win.”
Of course knowing how to win and actually winning, are two different things.
“It’s been unfortunate the past one-and-a-half years, we haven’t been able to win as many games as we lost, but we love what we do and want to win here,” Hamels said. “…We enjoy playing in front of these fans and for this organization.”