Four pitchers the Blue Jays should target in trade talks

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May 2, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) delivers pitch during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies

Of all the pitchers on that could become available in the coming months, Cole Hamels is the only one that could be available immediately. However, he’s also the most expensive of the bunch, both in long-term commitment and in cost of prospects. With three years and $70.5 million in guaranteed money still due to Hamels after the 2015 season and a $20 million vesting option for a fourth season, there is some comfort in controllability with Hamels, especially if he can contribute at the levels he has in years past.

So far in 2015, Hamels hasn’t lived up to that standard. He’s thrown 37 innings in 6 starts, posting a 4.14 ERA and a 5.43 FIP, but has walked nearly two batters per nine innings more than last season and has already given up 8 home runs after surrendering 14 a year ago. One has to imagine that things can only get better for Hamels if his situation improves, but the increased walks and home run rates don’t necessarily encourage confidence when talking about bringing a pitcher into Rogers Centre.

Likelihood of a deal happening:

The big consideration with a deal for Hamels isn’t necessarily the price tag he travels with, but rather lies in the cost to acquire. Ruben Amaro has made no secret that he wants a king’s ransom in order to land Hamels in a deal, as evidenced by his desire to land not only Blake Swihart from the Red Sox, but also Mookie Betts and Henry Owens. The Blue Jays don’t have the pieces to compete at that level, not without crippling both the current roster and the long-term prospects for the team. With that in mind, it is difficult for me to see Toronto in the mix for Hamels, not with others with deeper pockets, deeper farm system, and bigger needs on the prowl.

Next: Matt Garza - Milwaukee Brewers