FanPost

Pure Speculation: Cole Hamels To The Desert?

In case you haven't seen it, BP's Kevin Goldstein has a new article up today about the prospects of Philadelphia trading left-hander Cole Hamels (it's up for members at either ESPN or BP).  The scenarios involve eight different teams (can't go into it much more for obvious reasons), but the basic outline is that Philadelphia will be looking for some combination of a replacement starting pitcher (i.e. big-league-ready), relief help, infield help, and athletes.  Luckily, Arizona has a TON of payers who fit three of those four categories, with the infield help one being a bit more tenuous - Goldstein particularly mentions middle-infield help, although if you expand it to include third basemen, things get even more interesting.

Just take a look at some of the pieces Arizona could put into such a package:

Starting Pitching: Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs, Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin. (Trevor Bauer cannot be traded yet, and I wouldn't move him anyways.)

Relief Help: David Hernandez, Bryan Shaw, Ryan Cook, Evan Marshall, Kevin Munson.

Infield Help: Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, David Nick, Ryan Wheeler.

Athletes: Keon Broxton, Ty Linton, Wagner Mateo.

The possibilities are seemingly endless.  Corbin, Hernandez, Davidson, and Mateo?  Skaggs, Shaw, Nick, and Broxton?  Parker, Cook, Wheeler, and Linton?  I think any of these packages seriously pique the interest of the Phillies, and provide them with talent that they actually control on the cheap, which will come in handy with the eight-figure salaries they're giving out like candy.

As for Hamels, we'd be getting one year of Arb4 control - somewhere in the $14MM range - of a pitcher who contributed 4.9 fWAR last year with a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 216 innings of work, and has a career trend of his ERA out-performing his FIP by about .3 (career ERA 3.39, career FIP 3.63).  He's another legitimate Ace that Arizona could put either #1 or #2 in its rotation alongside Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson, giving the D-backs one of the best top-3 starting pitching tandems in the game.  Arizona would enter the season with a rotation of Kennedy, Hamels, Hudson, Josh Collmenter, and one of Bauer plus whoever isn't traded among the Parker/Skaggs/Miley/Corbin quartet.

The bullpen would be a bit thinned out if we were to move Hernandez or Shaw, but their job would be easy with the rotation that's assembled, making great use of the several specialist types Arizona already has to cobble together a couple innings at the end of a game.  It would be a 2011 Brewers type strategy, depleting the farm for a legitimate run at a World Series, but Arizona's farm would still be quite solid even after a move, and it would make us bona fide World Series contenders.  On the other hand, there isn't a big impending free agent on the roster like Prince Fielder was for the Brewers, so it could be argued that it's speeding up the D-backs window unnecessarily early, but hey, rings last forever.

Thoughts, everybody?  What package would you offer?  If anybody completely off-limits for you?

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