Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates Shouldn't Target Cole Hamels in Trade Market

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates Shouldn't Target Cole Hamels in Trade Market

Article excerpt

The Phillies' Cole Hamels would be a great fit in the Pirates' rotation, or the rotation of any other contender for that matter. Through nine starts this season, he has a 3.24 ERA and is striking out a robust 9.6 hitters per nine innings, solid numbers for a lefty who, at 31, is in the prime of his career. What general manager wouldn't want that kind of anchor for his pitching staff?

The problem for the Pirates in acquiring him, as KDKA's Colin Dunlap on Monday advocated they do sooner rather than later, is that the Phillies aren't such a great fit as a trading partner, even as they continue to scuffle with a roster of fading, overpriced stars of yesteryear.

Just ask the Red Sox how reasonable Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is at the negotiating table. Boston has been considered the favorite to land Hamels since before last summer's trading deadline because it has a deep farm system and is among the richest of baseball's rich. The Sox could flip a couple blue-chip prospects for him and take on the $90 million-plus remaining on Hamels' contract without batting an eye.

And even they've gotten nowhere, despite the fact their staff is much more desperate for consistency than the Pirates' is. CBS' Jon Heyman reported April 28 that Boston still is balking at Amaro's demands for top prospects Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart in a prospective deal.

If we were talking about any other general manager, perhaps you'd write that off as the posturing typical of high-stakes negotiations. But Amaro has been playing those games for the better part of a year, passing up prime opportunities to make a move last July and then again over the offseason.

He's proven that he's willing to defy logic, let Hamels' value diminish and hold onto him until he gets exactly what he wants. …

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