ESPN’s Jayson Stark was a guest on Harry Mayes and Rob Ellis’ show on 97.5 the Fanatic on Tuesday, and took the time to weigh in on Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels, among other topics.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview came when Stark discussed the possibility of Cole Hamels being traded by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, which he said is “less than 50/50” at this point (full interview available here).
Starks comments should be quite concerning for the Phillies organization (as well as the fans), as they will likely need to deal Hamels sooner rather than later in order to get the return they are looking for from trading their ace.
“I think it is mostly the prospects or the players they want back,” Stark told Mayes and Ellis of what might be holding up trades for Hamels. “The money is a factor, it is definitely a factor, and the Phillies are prepared to some extent to use the money somewhat as a bargaining trip to get better players back.”
This is good for the process of rebuilding for the Phillies. At least they’re not just giving Hamels to the first suitor who comes calling, and are willing to eat money in the interest of the team’s future. However, they will need to pull the trigger at some point, and waiting too long could be detrimental.
“Andy (MacPhail) is a very deliberate, patient man,” Stark told Mayes and Ellis. “He’s going to want to wait. And if they wait, if they don’t do it this July, and think they’re going to do it this winter, I don’t think it’s possible with all the free agents out there.”
The days are numbered before the non-waiver trade deadline. The Phillies must be patient in listening to offers, but being too patient could have serious ramifications for the club’s future. For everyone’s sake, let’s just hope Ruben Amaro Jr. isn’t the one calling the shots here.
Stark’s full interview on 97.5 is available here.
By: Kyle Babcock
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