MLB Column: Early Season Roundup

Pressure is on for Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels. The 31-year-old has been the subject of rumors for quite some time now. With every start at the mound, Hamels is auditioning for a growing market of interested buyers. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro took a lot of heat over the pre-season for not trading Hamels in anticipation of injury. Hamels has started the season 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA, close to his career 3.28.

His first win came Monday night when he held the Cardinals to one run, allowing four walks but only four hits and nine strikeouts. Coincidentally, St. Louis is allegedly one of the top contenders for picking up Hamels. The Cardinals recently placed 33-year-old Adam Wainwright on the DL for the remainder of the season following an achilles injury. With Wainwright out, the Cardinals are looking for a replacement for someone not easily replaced. The Cardinals have been interested in Hamels since the middle of winter, and could likely afford the $100 million and four years left in Hamels contract.

However, the Cardinals aren’t the only ones in dire need of a new star. Brandon McCarthy of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be out for the year after the club announced Monday that he will undergo Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers are more likely to win their star from Philly as they certainly have the means, and also a promising farm system.

Yet another contender for Hamels is Boston. Unlike St. Louis and LA, the Sox haven’t had any problem with rotation injuries. The major problem in Boston is simply the rotation. The starters’ combined 5.84 ERA is horrendous and proves they don’t have their ace. I’d love to see Hamels in Boston; an ace pitcher could be the missing piece for a championship team. Like the Dodgers, Boston has more than enough money and lots to entice the Phillies with. Add in the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Toronto and Baltimore to the mix and the Phillies have themselves plenty of options. As the trading deadline looms in the future, the Phillies will just sit back and reap the benefits of Hamels’ pitching, as the market for Hamels continues to grow.


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