Depending on what week it is, there are usually a few great things for Philadelphia Phillies fans to cheer about, along with a few things to be frustrated about. The repeat injury to Cliff Lee this season was surely one of the many kicks in the stomach for this team. Yet, they got some really good news on Lee in that he does not need surgery to repair the elbow, rather only needs rest and rehab.
Either way, Lee is still likely out for the rest of the season. The team suggests they want him in a throwing program around the end of the year, but you can bet they will want to look at how he is feeling before the MLB Winter Meetings. With the repeated injury to his elbow this season, Lee took himself directly out of the trade market. It is debatable whether or not GM Ruben Amaro would ever trade these guys anyway, but nobody wanted Lee after the bad elbow.
With the nice news that the arm does not need surgery, Lee is nearly assured a spot in Spring Training next season for the Phillies. That is to say that MLB teams will still not want to pay money or prospects in a trade for him, but the Phillies look to feel very confident in him going into the 2015 season. So, back to the headline, how does this impact Cole Hamels?
The truth of the matter is that Hamels is the most attractive trade target for the team with Lee probably on the shelf until next season. If the Phillies feel good about Lee’s ability to lead the staff through the next couple of seasons, they might finally be willing to deal Hamels and get something big back for him. That could happen before the end of August if Amaro chooses to work something out, or it could wait until the meetings. Only time will tell.