Report: The Blue Jays Have Spoken to the Phillies About Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino

Screen Shot 2012-05-11 at 11.01.41 AMT-shirts, Hamels for sale!


Now, before you freak out and run around the block like a frigging nut wearing only your 2008 Phillies World Fucking Champions tattoo, it’s important to add some context.

Ken Rosenthal, citing Major League sources, said the Blue Jays have spoken to the Phillies about Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino. But a trade is not imminent, nor likely. Rosenthal points out the Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos (must be Irish or something) “routinely inquires on star players.”

Here’s what Amaro told the bow-tie wearing reporter last night: [FOX Sports]

“My job is to keep all lines of communication open, for the good of the club today and tomorrow,” Amaro said. “I can’t shut any doors down. You try to be creative. And there are a lot of creative GMs out there who have different goals.”

“If we continue to play like this and keep dropping out of the race, it’s going to be tough to be buyers,” he said. “The one way we can be buyers is by keeping our heads above water — if we’re five games out, seven games out, within striking distance, then yeah.”

“But if a couple of teams pull away, run away with this thing and we’re not up to the task, then you never know. Sometimes you can be buyers and sellers at the same time. That situation might present itself, too.”

“I don’t expect us to be in a seller’s mode. But I also have to be realistic. If the team decides it doesn’t want to play the way we expect to play or play the caliber of baseball necessary to win, you can’t squeeze blood from a stone.” 


I bolded that last part, because Ruben Amaro is an enraged nut right now.

Those comments reek of trying to piss off the team. Inspire them, if you will. Remember: Amaro says nothing, or lies. No middle ground. Do you really think he would blabber on about being sellers to CSN’s Jim Salisbury, like he did yesterday, or Rosenthal if that’s what he was actually doing? No, of course not.

The Phillies have not only been bad, but they’ve played horribly too, dropping fly balls, muffing routine plays, and having perhaps the worst mental approach in baseball. Amaro is simply trying to spark his team by threatening to “sell.” 

Make no mistake, chances that the Phillies trade Cole Hamels to Toronto are slim, probably non-existent. But you can expect more such rumors. Hamels is going to receive one of the largest contracts ever given to a pitcher next winter, and the Phillies may not be willing to pay it. If that’s the case, and if the Phillies continue to be cellar-dwellers (it actually hurts my bones to type that), then perhaps trading Hamels will be a more realistic scenario. But it’s not happening now. It is still far too early for a team with a $174 million payroll to sell perhaps its best player.

The folks from have a slightly different take, positing that perhap the Phillies and Hamels could have a wink and a nod agreement to reunite once the season is over:

The Phils could work out a side deal with the prized left-hander. "Listen, Cole, we're going to move you to a contender so we can replenish. Enjoy the postseason. Enjoy Toronto. And we'll hammer out a deal in November." It's a great year to be a seller, too, especially when you have Hamels and Victorino this close to free agency. Lots of prospect-rich, hungry teams like Toronto are just dying to slip into the postseason; they now have a real shot because of the expanded structure.


It's a great idea, but it's too risky. Just look at how trading away Cliff Lee worked out for 2010 season– it didn't. Though he eventually came back (Cole could too), the Phillies missed a HUGE opportunity during "their window" by not having Lee for their World Series run in 2010. Would they have beat the Giants in the playoffs with Lee? Maybe. Maybe not. Lee lost to the Giants twice during the World Series that year. But it certainly wouldn't have hurt to have him.

Despite the poor start to the season, the Phillies have enough talent and pitching that they will have an opportunity to be one of the five teams that make the playoffs. And with Roy Halladay, Lee and Hamels, they could easily win three series.

Failing to re-sign Hamels, whatever the circumstances, would be a mistake. Cole is just now entering the prime of his career. 

To compare apples to grapes or something, here are the ERAs posted by Lee beginning in the season he turned 28, 2007: 3.85, 2.54, 3.22, 3.18, 2.40. 

Hamels enters that same portion of his career with a significantly better track record than what Lee had prior to turning 28. Only once since 2007 has Hamels posted an ERA above 3.39. He is the lone bright spot for the Phillies’ future beyond next season. They almost have to re-sign him.

It's making me sad just to talk about this.


39 Responses

  1. Except Cliff Lee is an expensive toy the Philies don’t need. The 2 or 3 bats that could be had for that price would more than make up for the one game a series he pitches in the play-offs.
    Especially when in his last 3 play-off starts he is 0-3 with an over 7 era against the ’27 Yankees lineups of the Giants and Cards.
    Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great pitcher and fun to watch, but like Papelbon he was a want more than a need. 37 million a year for Lee/Papelbon is the reason Lance Nix and Juan Pierre start for the Phillies.
    The Phils didn’t lose vs. Yankees or Giants because of pitching.

  2. Only untouchables I would have are Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Ruiz. Everyone else is fairgame, and provides an opportunity to bring in some young arms and bats. With those four “untouchables”, they’ll keep things competitive enough to make this team a somewhat contender.

  3. To be completely honest if the Phils truly believe they can sign Hamels back after the season like they did with Cliff Lee than a trade like this would make sense. Lawrie (3B), D’Arnoud (C), and Anthony Gose (OF) are all prospects 23 or younger that have HUGE upside. You also might be able to steal a relief pitcher somewhere in there. Again this trade is really only valuable if you decide to sacrifice this season in the hopes that next year the injection of youth will spark a new era of winning baseball. It would be a high risk, high reward move much like the Flyers pulled with Richards and Carter.

  4. “It is still far too early for a team with a $174 million payroll to sell perhaps its best player.”
    You can’t be serious

  5. If Amaro let’s Cole leave this city (at 27 or 28 years old). After signing a bunch of 40 year olds, he will be the most HATED man in Philly, EVER!!!!!

  6. Halladay is NOT untouchable.
    He’s just about done here and will be demanding a trade in the offseason anyway.
    See ya, Doc. (In the right deal)

  7. The Jays will not trade Lawrie.. No chance.
    Pltching is great. But the Jays rotation is looking great. Unless you can lock up Hamles long term I dont make this trade if the Jays have to give up to much. The Jays need a bat..

  8. You people that are blaming RAJ for this are pissing me off, the guy has pulled off some great moves over the past few years. Now we are saying those moves are terrible? It has been a great time to be a Phillies Phan over the past few years, those that have jumped on the bandwagon in those years and are now scrambling for the exit are idiots. 2 World Series, 1 WFC, playoffs since 2007, just didn’t happen before. RAJ and Charlie for that matter aren’t the ones that are dropping Pop Flies, serving up batting practice fastballs out of the bullpen, swinging at the first pitch and doing a Willy Mayes Hayes popout. The players ARE NOT performing and it has nothing to do with

  9. Most people argued that some of these moves were beyond questionable. They vastly overpaid for Hunter Pence. That move was a killer to the farm. They essentially gave up more him him then either the Lee or Halladay. trade. Signing Jimmy to that deal was also a bad move. It’s not really hindsight either…a lot of people questioned that considering how bad Jimmy has been since the MVP year(and how bad he is now).
    Also, it’s RAJ’s job to put this roster together, so how can he not be at fault if the bullpen arms he brought in have been terrible?

  10. This is a win win scenario for me. Either we’re playing good ball with Utley and Howard back by July 31st and don’t need to sell or we start the rebuilding since we need to do it soon anyway. Then we bettter hope Toronto wants both or maybe Texas jumps in for one of them.
    Dream scenario: Vic to TOR for D’Aurnaud and Gose?
    Toronto can move Bautista to DH and slide Rasmus to RF.
    Then hope Texas wants a proven Postseason Ace.
    Hamels to TEX for Olt, Profar, and 2 other prospects?
    Those are really the only 2 farm systems I’d want Roob to deal with since his eye for minor league talent blows. Then try to re-sign Hamels in the offseason. In that scenario Vic won’t be re-signing with us. Dom in left, Gose in center, Pence in right. Sorry chooch but D’Aurnaud catching, Olt at 3rd. Profar is future SS. May can take Blanton’s place. Love to see this happen actually.

  11. trade victorino & 1 of his mistresses to the bluejays for Doug Drabek & Michael Taylor

  12. Blonders, that is a dream scenario. Victorino has little value as his numbers are down and he’s a FA. Not sure team view him as a missing piece that’s worth 2 Top 25-50 Prospects. We’d be lucky to get that for Hamel imo

  13. @Bill-that’s why it’s a dream scenario. in reality i’d just like to trade RAJ for either Toronto’s or Texas’s GM

  14. Seriously, Hamels is the only guy I’d not think about trading right now. Everyone else would be on the table for as much young talent as we could stockpile and hopefully Cole winds up the ace veteran lefty in his early 30s on a young up and coming team in a few seasons. I’d feel much better about a fire sale move than I would about keeping expensive aging guys on the roster.

  15. if lawrie’s name wasnt in the trade with cole hamels i would shoot amaro personally

  16. I think Toronto would maybe get rid of D’Arnaud and Gose….maybe Alvarez as well. That’s a package of Vic and Cole(with extension).
    Lawrie won’t be moved imo.

  17. Brad, I guess you started watching in 2008 too?
    Because Amaro was NOT the guy that put the WS team together, it was Gillick, you DOPE!

  18. I’ve spoken to people about banging Kate Upton…

  19. Kyle (and Beer Leaguer), are you guys that dumb to think Toronto would send their prospects to Philly without having a deal in place to extend Cole? Just so we can pull off a “wink wink” deal with Cole to come back? Come on now……at least THINK before you write something like that, you have to give GM’s a little more credit than that.

  20. @Bill- Vic and Cole with an extension is worth way more than Gose and D’Aurnaud and maybe Alvarez. I could see possibly a straight up Vic for D’Aurnaud. Kinda like a Marcum for Lawrie type swap. But Hamels with an extension is worth as much as the package we gave up for Doc. Hamels would be under control and coming in the prime of his career. Remember when Atlanta got Texieira as a rental from Texas? Look at what Texas got back. Cole as a rental is worth at least as much as Texeira was, if not more.

  21. Charlies great “speach” to the club after the last game will really turn heads, i’m sure. He just timed it so perfectly that it was right before the scum-of-the-league Padres come into town.. He’ll look like a genius now if they win the series!

  22. I ain’t saying that the Phillies won’t sell, but we all know that this is posturing. Amaro wants his team to know that they are on the hot seat, and Anthopoulos wants his team to know that they are serious.

  23. Why is this a bad thing? Would you prefer to lose Hamels for nothing at the end of the year like the Mets lost Reyes? This team is a mess.. If his salary demands are too high, of course you have to trade him.

  24. Im in toronto. Your welcome for Roy byw.
    I am reading some of these posts. Its wonderful to be a fan aint it? But both Hamles and Vic are free to walk after this year. The Jays like young players that are not only good, but cheap and controllable. The Jays will not sell the farm to get a guy on his walk year. Not gonna happen. Gose and D’Aurnaud and Alvarez will not be moved for rental. And to be honest guys, Alvarez is as blue chip stud as there is. If he were a Yank the pub he would be getting would be huge. The Jays are trying to build a team that will will for a number of yrear rather than sell the farm for one shot. Hamles is welcome on my team anyday. But for what price. If Alvarez gets traded i will sell my Lawrie jersey cuz I would be out.. ha.
    Hey, maybe the Jays could trade for Roy back??? But we keep Drabek and Goose.. Ok you can have Goose .

  25. I just have a feeling the 2012 Phillies = 2008 Eagles. We’ll write them off when they are around .500 in July. But division will be still be winnable. Then they’ll put together one last run, get into postseason as “hot team” and get to at least NLCS. 2008 Eagles was the last run for that era of the Eagles – McNabb, Dawkins, Runyan, Westbrook, etc and they were 5-5-1 after 11 games and everyone thought it was over. 2 months later they were favored on the road in the NFC title game.

  26. Absolutely no chance the Jays give us a Roy Halladay-like package for Hamels without not just an extension, but an extension with a number AA is comfortable with. The Jays have done a near immaculate job with their payroll (see Bautista, Romero, Morrow), they aren’t going to give up Gose, D’arnaud, et al for a guy who could be earning twice as much per year as their present team leaders. This may be a smokescreen to force another AL team to move for Hamels and drop those dollars on him, eliminating more competition for the jays come next off-season. Just a thought.

  27. It only took RAJ 3 years to F this up. He is a JV GM all his life

  28. @ Jim Salisbury sucked RAJ’s cock or whatever your name is. How is it RAJ’s fault or Charlie’s fault the players aren’t performing. And just for the record, RAJ was assistant GM back in 2008 and was put in that position in 2007, since then he has made great trades, and deals, yes, there have been a few bad ones, but the good ones have FAR outweighed the bad ones. Been a Phillies Phan since 1980, when I was 7 years old, seen alot more bad times than good over the years, you should appreciate it when times are good. This team will turn around or RAJ will demolish it and start over, nothing lasts forever.

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  30. That’s really good thing that He just timed it so perfectly that it was right before the scum-of-the-league Padres come into town….Good blogs..

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