Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has softened has stance on a potential Cole Hamels trade just a hair, offering to eat a portion of the remaining $90-110 million left on his deal if the deal is right.
That could be problematic for a potential big-market trade suitor like the Boston Red Sox, writes Ben Buchanan of SB Nation:
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First, for the Red Sox, Hamels' ability to contribute in 2015 is fast losing importance. Whether you think this is a dead season walking or simply one on life support, there's no doubt that the front office has to put less priority on what Hamels can do for them now than they would have back in February. It would take a month as good as May was bad to change that. In fact, the only way that it's possible to suggest Hamels is more valuable to a 22-27 Red Sox team than a 0-0 one is if Ben Cherington feels under pressure, and makes a desperation move. But if Henry and co. are considering a change (and so far there's no indication of that), it's hard to imagine they'd let anything that smelled of desperation get past them.
For other teams, though, 2015 is a very real consideration. Look at the Twins and Astros and Mets, all three enjoying surprisingly successful seasons. The Royals are still good, too, and of course there's the more traditional contenders like the Dodgers and Cardinals.
It's the small-market bunch that are really important for the Hamels market, though. Because they have added incentive to jump on this deal. This is a rare occasion where a team is openly willing to facilitate the presence of a high-priced superstar on a small-market roster. For those small-market teams who find themselves with an open window right now, that gives them a chance to go over-the-top not just in 2015, but in the next two or three years before the young core that is presumably powering their playoff push start leaving in free agency.