It’s a rough time to be a Philadelphia Phillies fan. Not only did ace Roy Halladay retire from baseball on the first day of the 2013 Winter Meetings, but starting pitchers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are both said to be expendable.
“The Phillies have indicated to other teams they are ready and willing to talk about Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades,” ESPN senior baseball writer Buster Olney tweeted on the Day 2 of the Winter Meetings.
It’s hard to imagine that the Phillies will trade both players, but at this point, anything is possible. Philadelphia is determined to shake things up. With that being said, I’m confident the organization is going to hold onto Hamels, unless of course an incredible packaged deal comes along.
The reason Lee is the more likely of the two to get moved is because he will be approximately $67.5 million cheaper. Whoever decides to take a chance on the veteran will have to eat all of the $50 million remaining on his contract because Philadelphia has indicated they have no intention of paying any portion of either player’s contract.
Whichever team decides to put together a deal for Hamels will have to pay $117.5 million over the next five years with an option for 2019. Obviously, the 29-year-old is an incredible talent who consistently comes through in clutch moments. He should be considered by any team that wants to go the distance in the next couple of years.
Meanwhile, the fact that Lee continues to pitch at a very high-level at the age of 35 years old is comforting. On the other hand, he may be running low on fuel at this point in his career.