Cole Hamels. (Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
The Red Sox
have added three new starting pitchers. But that’s not going to stop the Cole Hamels’ conversations.
Even with the additions of Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson following Jon Lester‘s jump to the Cubs, there is some thought the Red Sox will still be exploring the market for a proven No. 1 starter. There has been whispers of Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto.
But perhaps the loudest scuttlebutt regarding the possible acquisition of an ace has involved Hamels.
Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, a former teammate of Hamels with the Phillies, is all for the idea of his team making such a move.
“I’ll take Cole Hamels in a heartbeat as one of our starters,” Victorino said by phone. “I know he’s been there. I know what kind of guy he is. I know what kind of pitcher he is. When he takes that ball he wants to win. He comes across as this nonchalant guy, or laid back. But when it’s time to go, Cole Hamels is one of the most prepared, hard-working guys I’ve been around.”
Hamels (who does list the Red Sox as one of the teams on his no-trade list) went on MLB Network Radio over the weekend and expressed his desire to join a winner, saying, “For whatever city is going after winning, I think that could definitely change every perspective and every desire, because that trumps everything — winning.”
Acquiring Hamels, however, figures to be a feat for any interested team.
If the Red Sox were to make a move on the soon-to-be 31-year-old lefty, it would not only presumably cost a few of the team’s top prospects, but because of the no-trade issue the Sox would likely be forced to pick up the $20 million option on Hamels’ deal. In all, the club would be committing $110 million over five years.
As far as Victorino is concerned, the payout would be worth it.
“I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to put him in a Red Sox uniform if it’s possible,” the outfielder said. “To me the biggest thing, being around long enough, if ever I’m in a position to build a winning team, I don’t understand why people fixate on the word ‘prospect.’ People get fixated on prospects. Well, this guy has all the upside in the world. Has Cole Hamels done it? Yes. So why not go get Cole Hamels at whatever expense is needed. Do you want to keep some of the farm system? Yes, I understand that. Part of an organization comes from within. The Lesters, the Pedroias, the Papelbons, the guys who were brought up through the system, got a few championships, and then unfortunately as times goes on guys move. I agree 100 percent it’s important to have a good minor league system. I agree with that. Some of these prospects who are being thrown around, who knows if they are going to be that guy.”