The Yankees have avoided spending a lot of money this Winter and instead have opted to make trades in order to upgrade the team and manage the payroll. They have acquired Didi Gregorius for Shane Greene and Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones for David Phelps and Martin Prado, and while their biggest additions are cheap and cost controlled, other trades for more expensive players can't be overlooked. The Phillies might be ready to start selling off their veteran roster after dealing Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers. If Phillie is indeed ready for a fire sale, Brian Cashman needs to at least look into Cole Hamels, who recently declared he would accept a trade to the Yankees.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Hamels, 31, said he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Yankees or Rangers in the AL and seven other teams from the NL, including his hometown San Diego Padres. While most of the teams remain unknown, it's not easy to guess that they're all teams that are in better shape than the Phillies are currently. With their flurry of moves this offseason, the Padres might be in a better place to acquire the lefty, though the Yankees might be up there compared to a team like the Rangers.
Hamels won't exactly come cheap with a guaranteed $94 million coming to him over the next four years and a vesting option for an additional $20 million for his age-35 season. It's a lot of money, a contract the 2015 Yankees are unlikely to take on, but at the very least, the deal doesn't extend into his late 30s. If we use the $1 million the Phillies threw in for the $11 million Rollins is owed in 2015 as a guideline, Philadelphia might only be willing to offer up 10% of their ace's contract. That would end up being around $9-10 million, leaving the Yankees holding the remaining $84 million bill. That's all just conjecture obviously, but keep in mind that if the Ruben Amaro is looking for a big return, the more money he takes on, the better package of prospects he will get.
Someone like Cole Hamels, who pitched to a 2.46 ERA and 3.07 FIP in 2014 while completing his fifth consecutive season of 200+ innings, would instantly become the surest thing in the Yankees rotation. He could be installed as the No. 1 or No. 2, putting less pressure on Masahiro Tanaka, lowering expectations for Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi, and pushing CC Sabathia to fifth starter and Chris Capuano to the bullpen.
Despite the amount of prospects he would surely require, Hamels would end up being cheaper than Max Scherzer on a purely monetary basis. This year the Yankees don't seem to be against making trades and if they have no intention of adding any longterm contracts, Hamels could be their answer to improving the team and saving face. I would personally be willing to give up anyone to get Cole Hamels to the Yankees. You obviously want to try to avoid giving up Luis Severino or Aaron Judge, but in my mind, Gary Sanchez is very tradable. Hamels would be a big get for a team trying to revitalize their roster. How do you feel?