Cole Hamels sure made an impression on the Cubs in what could be his last game as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The veteran pitcher took the mound on Wrigley Field and reminded those interested in trading for him that he is as dominant as ever. The Chicago Cubs, who are one of the teams rumored to be in the mix for the pitcher, are probably more interested after the great display.
The deadline is just six days away and rumors are all over the place. The Philadelphia Phillies could end up making big trades and Hamels, who won a championship with them a few years ago and is signed to a $159 million contract, could end up being shipped because the team is looking to go on rebuild mode.
Hamels has played almost 10 seasons and has won 114 games for the Phillies, including Saturday’s, his sixth of the season. He remains a dominant pitcher, who could help a playoff team go far. His pitching was sensational today, he struck out 13 and the Phillies won 5-0.
The no-hitter, which was sealed when Kris Bryant flied out on his 129th pitch, was the 290th in major league history. It was the 13th by a Phillies pitcher. Roy Halladay threw two no-hitters for the team five years ago, one in the playoffs.
Start and Numbers
Hamels, pitching in his 294th career start, took a no-hitter into the eighth and struck out all three in the seventh. The no hit bid survived a long fly ball to left-center field by David Ross that was caught by Odubel Herrera.
After the game, the veteran pitcher was asked if he had considered that this start could be his last for the team, Hamels said: “No. It’s something where I just have to go out there and try to enjoy the moment. … That’s kind of my focus. And obviously this happened.”
This start definitely answered some questions from the teams interested, after Hamels allowed 20 hits and 14 runs over 6 1/3 innings in the last two. A scout that watched him pitch against the Marlins on Sunday expressed some concern over his inability to locate his pitches and wondered if it would happen again. Hamels took an extra day between starts and that looks like it helped him get back to his regular self.
One of the most wanted pitchers on the trade market, Hamels is said to be a top target for teams like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs. Hamels started off the game by walking the first batter he faced but then retired the next 17.
The Phillies and their bad campaign, has led to many changes in the front office. They don’t really have to trade Hamels, who is under contract for the next four years, but if they want to rebuild, he is going to be the one that is going to get them the most pieces.
There is a lot of interest for him, and the Phillies, who are last now and were last the past campaign, will have a lot of work to do. In the next few days, we could see Hamels, Papelbon and any other player with high value pack their bags and join another club through a trade.
Papelbon has already said many times that he wants to be traded to a contender and that he has done enough for the team, which has missed the playoffs since he signed a four-year, $50 million free-agent deal. “I feel like three years is plenty enough time to ride it out, so to speak. If the fans don’t understand that, I can’t really side with them.”
Where will their best players land? Should the Phillies just wait and trade in the offseason?