According to a report from Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox and Phillies have not discussed a Cole Hamels trade at all this month.
Hamels, who went 9-9 with a career-best 2.46 ERA last season, would be an obvious fit for the Red Sox. Not only would he give that ace-caliber arm that would really put the Red Sox over the top, but he would also add more balance to a rotation that currently includes only one left-hander.
However, as appealing as Hamels may be, the Red Sox are wise to stand down in negotiations. Phillies’ general manager Ruben Amaro has historically had very high, borderline ridiculous, asking prices for star players and that has reportedly held true in the Hamels negotiations. A Hamels trade has been contingent on Boston’s inclusion of either Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart, two players that Boston’s development-centric front office have been reluctant to part with.
This report adds more credence to the growing theory that the Red Sox will make no further moves on their rotation this offseason. The Red Sox have already spent a fair amount of money this offseason, mostly on signing big-name free agents Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, and are brushing up against the luxury tax threshold. Adding either a major free agent starter such as Max Scherzer or James Shields, or adding Hamels, who is owed $110M over the next five years, would put Boston’s payroll past the point of no return.
There’s no doubt that Hamels would be an excellent addition to Boston’s rotation, but the Red Sox’ current grouping of Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, and Joe Kelly has the potential to be an above-average rotation. If the Red Sox still need an ace pitcher at the trade deadline, then talks regarding Hamels could pick up again, but until then, don’t expect a major move.