Because the Phillies were demanding three of the top four Dodgers’ prospects at the time — but not the top one, according to Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. — the Dodgers said thanks, but no thanks. Then the Chicago Cubs claimed Hamels off waivers and the Cubs, too, decided the Phillies’ asking price was too high and Hamels went back to the mound for the Phillies.
Hamels did what Hamels usually does—allow one run in seven innings before being pulled in a loss to the New York Mets. That is precisely why Hamels knows now what he must do in the offseason: Demand a trade from the Phillies to a team, any team, with a lineup that has a chance to produce support for him.
Even though Hamels has a 2.37 ERA — good enough for fourth-best in the NL — his record is only a pedestrian 6-6. Hamels can look around and see guys who have better records with much worse ERAs and know deep down inside he is better off elsewhere. Take the Dodgers, for instance. Another left-handed pitcher, Hyun-Jin Ryu, is 13-5 for the Dodgers even though his ERA is a much-worse 3.21. Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres is 11-10 with a 2.63 ERA and Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants is 13-9 with a 3.22.
Hamels has pitched to a record way above his 6-6, and both he and the rest of baseball knows it. The only way for him to prove it though, is to demand a trade away from the punchless Phillies and he must do that in the offseason.