Ranking the best trade targets for the 2015 Red Sox rotation

7 of 9

3. Cole Hamels

Sep 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher

Cole Hamels

(35) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After my article supporting a Mookie Betts trade, I learned that apparently Red Sox nation is unimpressed by Cole Hamels and his 2.46 ERA. Yes, after watching him continue to exceed expectations for almost a month after I published that article, I have had some second thoughts. But people seem a little too confident in Mookie Betts. Yes, Mookie will be cheaper and has boatloads of potential. But Cole Hamels is a premier player in the league. I was astonished just how many people were negative of my article, not because I was acting as a proponent of a Betts trade, but because I had the gall to suggest targeting Hamels in return.

Seriously? Cole Hamels is a World Series-winning (he also claimed MVP by the way), perennial Cy Young contender in the prime of his career. Stop me if that sounds like another lefty who the Fenway Faithful are desperate to sign. I really don’t mean to come across as anti-Mookie. I think he is a terrific player. I raved about him in the BoSox Injection Red Sox Rookie of the Year roundtable. But right now, the Red Sox have a surplus of outfielders and a dearth of starting pitchers. I too, would much rather see Mookie packaged for Giancarlo Stanton, but let’s just say he is not available by trade. Maybe the Sox go out and sign him a few years from now, but until then, they need pitching.

Hamels represents one of the best left-handed pitchers in the league (better than Jon Lester, in this writer’s opinion) and he is only signed through his age 34 season, presumably before he will start to decline. The Red Sox could pay him the big bucks while he is in his prime, and then be able to sign him to a new contract that pays him a rate that a pitcher over the age of 35 should expect to earn. If one of the two names ahead of him on the list is available, I am going for him instead. But I am not going to turn my nose up at Cole Hamels.