By Patrick Brewer, Lead National League Writer
Yes, Cole Hamels is on the trade market. As he has been on and off over the last couple of years. I would say this year has been different but it really hasn’t. With that being said a Cole Hamels trade may finally come to fruition at the 2015 trade deadline. The usual suspects are involved in these talks including the Rangers, Dodgers, Astros, Giants, and so on and so forth. One of these teams is most likely to get Hamels but an interesting team has emerged as a possibility.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 27, 2015
Monday afternoon Jerry Crasnick reported that the Diamondbacks have made contact with the Phillies regarding Cole Hamels. Obviously this seems kind of far fetched given both the Diamondbacks current position in the standings and Cole Hamels ability to veto a trade to the Diamondbacks. With that being said this type of trade for the Diamondbacks may actually make some sense.
The Diamondbacks spent the beginning part of this season cutting payroll left and right. They traded away Mark Trumbo to the Seattle Mariners to trim some salary. Following that they traded away a highly regarded prospect in Touki Toussaint in order to get rid of the salary of Bronson Arroyo. This has freed up quite a bit of salary cap space and many predicted that this makes the Diamondbacks possible players in free agency this winter. An acquisition of Cole Hamels would definitely speed up the Diamondbacks timetable for competing sooner rather than later.
The Diamondbacks main issue this year has been their pitching staff and their bullpen. The Diamondbacks are in the bottom five or ten in almost every pitching category. Despite this the Diamondbacks offense has been able to pick up the slack and keep the Diamondbacks competitive this season. In terms of runs scored the Diamondbacks have had the second best offense in the entire national league. Obviously the D’backs aren’t going to be competing in 2015 but they definitely have some good parts to build around including Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Yasmany Tomas, Patrick Corbin, and a few others with an offense that is already good enough.
Earlier in the season the Diamondbacks cleared salary space in the hopes of making possible future moves and a Hamels trade could be a good start. Beyond having salary space, the Diamondbacks also have one of the top ten farm systems in all of baseball and should be able to give the Phillies the return they desire if they do decide to go for Hamels. Many thought the Diamondbacks would be active in free agency this winter but it seems they may be more active than anyone thought. Beyond just inquiring about Hamels the Diamondbacks also have had some contact with the Cincinnati Reds about Aroldis Chapman. Its clear that the Diamondbacks may be on the verge of turning around their franchise and attempting to compete in 2016 and into the near future.
Sources: Diamondbacks, Reds are talking about Aroldis Chapman. D’backs doing due diligence on him. Ask is huge, but may be something there.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 28, 2015
Acquiring Chapman seems like a bit of a stretch for the Diamondbacks but they could really be a dark horse candidate for getting Cole Hamels if he is willing to waive his no trade clause to Arizona. Even if Hamels does not get traded at the deadline the Diamondbacks could still make a run at him during the offseason. Hamels is the proven top of the rotation starter the Diamondbacks need, and if you pair him with the likes of Patrick Corbin, Archie Bradley, and Rubby de la Rosa going forward the Diamondbacks could once again be a team to watch out for in the National League West. And even if the Diamondbacks do not get Cole Hamels they still may be an important team to watch in the offseason with a glut of pitchers entering free agency, including Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmerman, among others that could all be on the Diamondbacks radar. Time will tell what happens with Cole Hamels and other pitchers on the market. But don’t count the Diamondbacks out just yet.
Patrick Brewer is the Lead National League Writer for Call to the Bullpen. You can find Patrick on Twitter@PatrickBrewer93 or join in the discussion @CTBPod, in the comment section below or on our Facebook Page.