24 scouts were on hand for Cole Hamels’ spring debut

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If one wanted a physical manifestation of the Cole Hamels trade rumors, one needed only look behind home plate at Bright House Field on Friday afternoon. MLB.com’s Paul Hagen reports that 24 — yes, count ’em, 24 — scouts were on hand to watch the lefty pitch to the Yankees for two innings.

Hamels was, predictably, solid. He held the Yankees to just one hit while striking out two and issuing zero walks in his pair of innings. Nefi Ogando took over for him in the third inning.

The Red Sox remain the team most strongly linked to Hamels. WEEI’s Rob Bradford tweeted that Charley Kerfeld, special assistant to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., has been keeping an eye on the Red Sox, attending Friday afternoon’s game against the Marlins.

Hamels, 31, has four years and $96 million remaining on his contract. He also has a club option for 2019 worth $20 million. As the Red Sox are on his limited no-trade list, Hamels could require the Red Sox guarantee that option, effectively making his remaining contract worth $110 million over five years.