Hot Stove Chatter: Padres Interested in Cole Hamels?
By Jason Evans
We’ve already seen the Padres go big bat hunting in the almost completed deal for Matt Kemp. While the search for additional offense is on, it appears, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, that the Padres may go ace pitching hunting too.
"Cole Hamels, LHP, Phillies — The Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, and Rangers are interested in Hamels. The sleeper team is the aggressive Astros. The Giants may be in if they can’t get James Shields. The feeling has been that if the Red Sox would pick up Hamels’s 2019 option at $20 million, he would waive his no-trade. The five years remaining on Hamels’s deal would be worth $110 million. Would he want an extension beyond that to OK a trade?"
Hamels is from San Diego which could give the Padres an advantage if a deal was to be reached. It would give them protection in the rotation since Ian Kennedy will be a free agent at the end of the season and could be traded himself at some point this off-season.
The Padres have financial flexibility even after getting Matt Kemp. If they send out Kennedy for a bat they could use that money towards acquiring Hamels. The only other lefty candidate for the rotation is youngster Robbie Erlin, and Hamels is easily an upgrade over him.
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There is another way the Padres can help their case. No it’s not adding Hunter Renfroe to the deal. If the Phillies would be willing to kick in quite a bit of money, how about taking on Ryan Howard too? It’s something the other teams in the derby wouldn’t be able to do because they have first baseman already. Even in a year when he hit only .223 and struck out 190 times, he still hit 23 homers and 95 RBI with a slightly below league average OPS of .690
The Hamels derby will be ongoing throughout the off-season. The Padres will be involved, but they should probably grab another bat first.