Jul 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) leaves the field after pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Turner Field. The Phillies defeated the Braves 4-0 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
No trading deadline piece would be complete without including Cole Hamels, even though the Detroit Tigers are not one of his preferred teams to be dealt to.
He, of course, would probably like a shot at a pennant race and get off the sinking Philadelphia Phillies’ boat, but does he want to spend 4-5 years in Detroit if he views the team as one on the decline after this season? The Tigers and Phillies would have to sell him on the prospect to get him to waive the trading provision in his contract.
He is guaranteed $23.5 million the next three years with a $20 million option in 2019 or $6 million buyout. That is a lot of money to take on for the Tigers, who have seemed more willing to shed payroll than to take it on in recent years–as evidenced by not going after Max Scherzer in the open market.
With Hamels, you know what you’re going to get. A solid, but not flashy #2 or #3 rotation guy. He has a lot of playoff experience and won the World Series MVP in 2008.
He definitely would be a step-up over who is #2-5 in the current Detroit rotation, but he probably brings the most question marks for any pitcher on this list.
In other words, the Tigers have a lot of soul-searching to make before making this, or any other purchase on or around July 31.