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The Phillies, in their efforts to deal Ryan Howard, are reportedly willing to eat so much of his salary that it’ll make eating that massive, gimmicky Wayback burger about as noteworthy as destroying a single patty at White Castle. By doing so, they’d be acknowledging that a mistake was made in that contract to begin with, albeit in a roundabout way. And now, reports say they’re willing to eat more of Cole Hamels’ salary in a potential trade, but that’s acknowledging an entirely different mistake.
According to WEEI in Boston, the Phillies have slightly modified their demands in a possible deal for Hamels. The Phillies still want “the kind of premier talent potential trade partners don’t currently seem comfortable giving up,” but they’re willing to pay more of Hamels’ remaining salary to do so. Hamels is owed $22.5 million this season, is set to make $67.5 million over the next three years, and has a $20 million club option lined up for 2019. But the mistake isn’t his contract. It’s not absurd, or too long, or overdone, like Howard’s deal. The failure this team was not being able to remain competitive, thus making Hamels more valuable as a trade chip than as a pitcher. And when everyone can see that, his value naturally decreases.
They’ve got time to move Hamels. Even if the trade doesn’t happen this year — it really, really should though — Hamels will still be young enough and good enough to bring in solid deals in the off-season. Ruben might just have to lower his expectations on what constitutes a solid deal. But what are the odds of that happening?