Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com got some very candid comments from Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, who appears likely to be dealt prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Hamels can be traded to nine teams without his approval. According to Salisbury, that list includes the Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs and Mets. He hasn’t been approached about waiving his no-trade clause to accept a deal to one of the 20 teams not on that list, but it’s clear that he’d do so if the right situation presents itself:
“But I’m open-minded on everybody and everything.”
Even Toronto and Houston?
“Yes,” he said. “I’ve always been open-minded. I will think about everything.”
Hamels doesn’t deny that Toronto and Houston are on his no-trade list. It’s nothing personal.
“I had to make a list back in October,” he said. “I came up with a criteria based on a lot of things — winning and losing, family. It was only nine teams. Those teams were in the middle of the pack.”
Toronto is contending in a tight American League East.
“I haven’t said anything to anybody about Toronto,” Hamels said.
Houston is one of the surprise teams in the majors. The Astros lead the AL West and have the second-best record in the league. Hamels would be an excellent addition to that young club.
“They just didn’t make the nine-team list,” Hamels said of the Astros. “When I made the list in October –- who knew?”
Waiving the no-trade clause would likely require the acquiring team to pick up his $20 million option for 2019. Hamels is making a $22.5 million salary in 2015 and is guaranteed $73.5 million from 2016-2018. The 31-year-old has a 3.26 ERA and 106/34 K/BB ratio in 99 1/3 innings across 15 starts this season.