With the MLB trade deadline looming, the Phillies have to make a huge decision without much time to consider alternatives. With a roster full of has-beens and never-was players, the one player who has stood out over this miserable season has been pitcher Cole Hamels. Coming into this week, Hamels has a sub 3.00 ERA and has provided the Phillies with guaranteed good outings each start over the last month.
The word around baseball is the Phillies are shopping Hamels, but they are asking the world in return. This is exactly what the Phillies should do at this point. They have depleted their farm system so much over the last five years that they barely have a prospect ranked in the top 100 now. The team has one asset that will bring a return of two or more strong prospects, and unfortunately that asset is Cole Hamels. However, Cole is signed through 2018 with an option for the 2019 season. In all, the Phillies still owe Hamels $105 million of his $140 million deal.
The Dodgers seem like the likely landing spot if a deal can be reached, and top prospect Joc Pederson will be at the center of what the Fightins ask for in return. Pederson is a 22-year-old outfielder who hit .315 with 22 HRs in his first season at triple-A. He is considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and with the Dodgers surplus of outfielders, they may move him to get a pitcher of Hamels’ status in return.
The Phillies will most likely also ask for infielder Corey Seager, who is the brother of current Mariners infielder Kyle Seager. Seager was rated baseball’s 34th best prospect last year, and at 20 years old, he would be a good cornerstone to build around as the Jimmy Rollins/Chase Utley era comes to an end.
If the Dodgers decide to give up these prospects in return for Hamels, they will build what is by far the best pitching staff in baseball. Surely, no other National League team would want to face a rotation led by Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels in the postseason. This deal could shift the power in the NL and would make the Dodgers automatic favorites to win the World Series. It would also give the Phillies hope for the future, which is strongly needed in the City of Brotherly Love currently.