Blue Jays Rumors: Cole Hamels Hasn’t Said No
Well, the rumor mill has been spinning with regards to the Toronto Blue Jays and Cole Hamels, whether it be regarding each entity on their own or together. The two have been linked for what seems like a very long time. And, for one reason or another (or several) we are always able to talk ourselves out of believing that there is any truth to the rumors.
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Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sportsnet (CSNPhilly.com) (h/t MLBTR.com) tells us that if there is a reason that Cole Hamels doesn’t come to Toronto, it will not be because he refused to look at waiving his no trade clause. We’ve been aware that Hamels has 9 teams on the list of teams he can be traded to without his say so. The Blue Jays are not one of them. Neither, for that matter are the Houston Astros. But, Hamels says that he hasn’t actually said “no” to anyone about these two teams (or any other for that matter) and would be open to considering them.
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Hamels says that GM, Ruben Amaro Jr and President Pat Gillick are the ones in control, not him. They are listening to several offers and are ready to strike when one presents itself. At that time, they will approach Hamels for his approval. And, there are several things that would go into his decision.
When he created the list (in October of 2014) of approved teams, the Blue Jays were not in a position of contention. Obviously, at 31 years old, Hamels would want to go to a team with a shot of winning. Since then, the Blue Jays have improved their club significantly with the additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin. That is not even to mention the exciting young suds the club has seen progress. Indeed, the Blue Jays are a club that can offer Hamels a chance to win, which wasn’t true when he made his list.
Now, there are likely several other things that Hamels will consider when waiving his no trade clause. We’ve all heard that the issue of taxation can be a concern for some players. Well, Hamels should think about that long and hard. He’s set to earn $70M over the next 3 seasons. That’s guaranteed.
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And, that’s not even mentioning the vesting option for 2019 of $20M. IF he were to accept a potential trade, that means he’d be paying a hefty percentage to the Ontario and Canadian government for 81 games a year. Come to think of it, Prime Minister Stephen Harper might want a campaign to make this deal happen. Think of the revenue.
Of course, this is getting ahead of ourselves. If the Phillies are actually going to get rid of Hamels, it is going to cost a fortune in prospects. Even if the Blue Jays can play the “we’re taking on salary, here” card, they’ll still need to part with some prized prospects. This is where things get uncomfortable for Blue Jays fans. We’ve come to love our youngsters; kids we’ve not really seen much of. Parting ways with a Jeff Hoffman or a Daniel Norris is not something that most of us are willing to stomach.
And, the Blue Jays may not be, either. They will likely shift their focus elsewhere where the cost may not be so intimidating. But, if they summon the courage to pull the trigger, it will signal a message to the rest of the division: “We’re in it to win it”. That’s the kind of message a guy like Cole Hamels wants to hear.
For Blue Jays fans, this “news” could be like: