Phillies wanted Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias from Dodgers for Cole Hamels

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reported Monday that the Phillies have made ace left-hander Cole Hamels available ahead of Thursday’s July 31 trade deadline, but the asking price on him is apparently sky-high.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that the Dodgers — who are known to be in the market for a top-tier starting pitcher — reached out to the Phillies front office recently but were told it would take top prospects Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias to get Hamels. Los Angeles quickly said no.

Pederson, a 22-year-old center fielder, has batted .318/.450/.585 with 22 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 91 games this season at Triple-A Albuquerque. Seager, a 20-year-old shortstop, owns a .353/.410/.630 slash line with 18 home runs and 71 RBI in 86 games between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. Urias, a 17-year-old left-hander from Mexico, has registered a 2.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts over his first 113 2/3 innings as a professional.

To call that a massive return package would be an understatement. It’s pretty clear now that Hamels — who is under contract with the Phillies through the 2018 season — is probably going to be staying put.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.