No two members of the Philadelphia Phillies have performed their jobs at a higher level than Cole Hamels and Chase Utley this season. On Wednesday night, for the second straight game, Hamels tossed nothing but zeroes in a start and Utley was given the ultimate respect by being walked in order to face Ryan Howard. Now both appear to be untouchable Phillies in any proposed rebuild.
The Phillies are shopping 23 members of the current roster and a few minor leaguers, but have told all other teams that Hamels and Utley are off the table. That kind of loyalty to two longtime centerpieces of the organization is laudable but misguided, something at least one Phillies fan had a humorous take on via twitter:
The Phillies will listen to proposals on everyone but Utley & Hamels. They’re behaving like me playing fantasy baseball.
— Marty G (@ThisPhillyFan) June 11, 2014
Hamels and Utley can bring a lot of value toward a rebuild that needs to be done. Most of the other Phillies are, to be kind, unwanted. Howard has a $25 million contract to go along with $2 million production. Jimmy Rollins is on the downside of his career and has no more than two semi-productive years left. Jonathan Papelbon has a large contract and a bigger ego. Cliff Lee and Mike Adams are damaged goods, both on the DL right now and teams would be very wary of picking of those salaries given their health.
Hamels and Utley, on the other hand, have some real value. Hamels is making $20.5 million this season and is only 30, and Lee is one of the many lefties out there who have be shown to have plenty in the tank after 30. Heck, current Phillies broadcaster Jamie Moyer won 16 games as a 47-year-old.
The Phillies do not have much to offer, but in Hamels and Utley, at least they can start the process that brings young talent to Philadelphia which is what the Phillies need most now.