All-Star Cole Hamels has more best friends that he knows what to do with. While opposing teams can’t talk to the free-agent-to-be, players on other teams are under no such restrictions.
“All I say to them is that I’ve been to every city, and I know what every city is like,” Hamels told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports on Tuesday.
Incidentally, Hamels has his locker stationed next to Clayton Kershaw’s in the Kansas City visitors clubhouse. Flush with cash, the Dodgers seem pretty likely to be the high bidder for Hamels this winter, assuming that the Phillies can’t sign him to an extension before then.
“I would love to have him there,” Kershaw told Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. “Our whole team would love to have a guy of his caliber. I hope we make a run at him.”
Hamels made it sound like testing free agency is the likely scenario.
“Anybody that wants to win, they’ve got a fair shot,” he said.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.