Early in the morning between the ROCKIES DID WHAT tweets and the NO SERIOUSLY WHAT ROCKIES tweets, Ken Rosenthal confirms that the Giants are interested in the move that makes the most sense for them: They're reportedly pushing hard to trade for Cole Hamels:
Sources: #SFGiants making strong push for #Phillies’ Hamels. Nearly $50M coming off Giants’ payroll at end of season.
The Giants are losing the Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Marco Scutaro, and Jeremy Affeldt contracts, that's true. They're also giving raises to Buster Posey, Sergio Romo, Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford, though, so it's not like they can get two $20 million players, a $10 million player, and call it an offseason. They'll need to be a little creative.
They'll need pitching, though. That much is certain. And they can give a Max Scherzer-like deal to David Price or Zack Greinke, paying for bad years at the end of the contract to get the good years at the beginning, or they can hope that Hamels's remaining three years are the good years, and they'll come out clean on the other side. Not paying ace money for years four-through-seven is worth a few prospects, alright.
There are complications, true. The first is the Giants can offer quantity over quality, but the Phillies might prefer the quality.
Also, of note is that the Giants aren't on Hamels's list of pre-approved trade destinations, which means he might want them to pick up his $20 million option for 2019 in exchange for agreeing to the deal. Even though one of the Giants' selling points is their ability to take that Jon Lester money and shovel it to Hamels without the Phillies kicking in that much, an extra year at $20 million might make them think twice.
At least the Dodgers are in a bidding war now. Stupid Dodgers.
It's a longshot, certainly. The Giants have the money. In a vacuum, they would have the prospects. In the current market, they would need the Phillies to find their prospects and young players more interesting than whatever the Dodgers and Rangers are offering. The Phillies might really value the ability of, say, Andrew Susac to step in right away, rather than getting nothing but a bunch of Class-A arms and telling their fans to be patient.
We've moved on from Dillon Gee rumors. That's a good thing. While Hamels makes sense for the Giants in 2015 and beyond, it's less likely that the Giants make sense for the Phillies. As long as Rosenthal is feeding us the niblets of hope, though, I'll devour them greedily.
I mean, why not Hamels and Price, really?