A couple of quick notes on a surprisingly temperate morning here in the City of Brotherly Love. . .
1) Before we get to Cole Hamels, I need to get something off my chest, and no, it isn't the tattoo I woke up with on Sunday morning (I kinda like it). I find it highly amusing that Major League Baseball has decided that the best way to address inefficiency in the game is to form a committee, an entity that is among the least efficient vehicles of governance that mankind has ever created. Nevertheless, I humbly submit the following suggestion for the committee's consideration:
Enough with all of the Victorian Era pomp and circumstance.
We're making pitching changes here, not trying to seduce each other's spouses. We live in an age where a fan in section 131 can use his cellphone to order double-fried nachos and a beer, plus a taxi to take him home, all without having to move his fat a-- out of his seat or speak to another human being.
Yet a baseball manager has to use a landline telephone and hand signals to make a pitching change and the umpire has to use a pencil and paper to write said change down, and the two of them have to discuss said change face-to-face while everybody else stands around wishing they were athletic enough to play basketball. I'm pretty sure baseball is the only thing keeping the graphite industry afloat.
But times change. In what other sport is a coach allowed to run out onto the field of play in the middle of an offensive set (an at-bat)? In what other sport is a coach allowed to do so at any time at all?
Want to shave 15 minutes off of every game? The manager isn't allowed out of the dugout except for between innings. Pitching changes are signaled by the catcher, reported from the duguout to the official scorer, announced over the public address system, and, if you really want to hang onto the pencils, written down by the umpire thereafter.
If the defensive team is considering reviewing a play, the pitcher stalls before throwing the ball. If the offensive team is considering reviewing a play, they make up their damn mind before the next pitch is thrown.
It's pretty dang simple. But baseball needs a committee for this, just like it needs a committee for everything, and the result of this is going to end up being just like the result of everything, like replay, and the catcher collision rule, where, once the changes are implemented, everybody else steps back and scratches their head and says, "Who the hell thought up of this crap? A committee?"
Of course, none of this will ever happen, because managers walking out to the mound is part of the game, and it always has been, because we've always done it that way, and blobbityblobbityblobbityblobbity BASEBALL!
Anyway, what does the headline say again?
2) Many folks seem to think that whenever the Yankees lose a significant piece of their roster, Brian Cashman immediately sets about attempting to acquire the best player in baseball at that position who might somehow, someway be available.
So it isn't surprising that Cole Hamels' name would be floated as a potential replacement for Mashiro Tanaka, who will miss at least six weeks, and potentially a whole lot more, with a slightly torn UCL (That's the Tommy John ligament). But that doesn't mean such a move makes sense.
In fact, it doesn't, and it is almost certainly not going to happen. In fact, it is nearly self-evident. The only way a trade of Hamels is a sensible decision for the Phillies is if the package they receive includes a pitcher who has a legitimate chance to contribute to their rotation next year.
Kyle Kendrick will be a free agent. So will Roberto Hernandez. A.J. Burnett might retire. And Hamels would be traded. That leaves Cliff Lee and David Buchanan, and, literally, nobody in their system capable of competing for any of the other three spots. Remember, they called up Sean O'Sullivan to start one of the games of the doubleheader.
So, a young MLB-ready starter is an absolute necessity, and after that you can start talking about a bluechip position prospect (which I guess would be Gary Sanchez, from the Yankees perspective).
Problem is, if the Yankees had an MLB-ready pitching prospect, he would already be pitching in New York, and they wouldn't be in the desperate position of further liquidating their farm system for Hamels. Remember, this team just traded for Brandon McCarthy.
Tanaka's injury is devastating to the Yankees FOR THE SAME REASON that the Yankees will be unable to trade for Cole Hamels.
Besides, the Yankees were toast even before Tanaka went down, and it makes more sense for them to save their minor league talent and make a run at Jon Lester or Max Scherzer in the offseason.
oxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi suggests that the Yankees could acquire Hamels through their willingness to take on money, but the Phillies problem isn't money. It's that they have nothing to spend it on, because the free agent landscape is a wasteland.