The Seattle Mariners are set and ready for the 2015 season. Right? There is no other big move on the horizon. No free agent signing, no big trade. Right?
Then why can’t I shake these Cole Hamels rumors? Seattle has not been named as an official team with an official offer on the table for the left-hander, but according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro says that four teams have made real offers for Hamels.
We know that the Red Sox are one of them. We also know that the Padres were said to have been very aggressive prior to signing James Shields.
So that’s two.
It’s been reported that the Cardinals and Rangers were also interested, but that does that mean that they are the other two teams that have made offers?
"“Eight teams have kicked the tires,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com on Wednesday."
So is it possible that the Mariners are, at the very least, one of the teams that has “kicked the tires”?
According to Salisbury, yes. He lists the teams as the Sox, Padres, Rangers, Cards, Dodgers, Yankees, Giants and the Mariners.
What would it take to land Cole Hamels? The Phillies have reportedly been interested in Red Sox top catching prospect Blake Swihart, who the Sox are reluctant to give up.
The Phillies are also looking for depth at SS – after trading Jimmy Rollins – and starting pitching. Okay, hang with me here for a second.
What if the Mariners offered up the following:
Seem like a lot to give up? Perhaps it is. But the Mariners have an abundance of depth at SS, 3B and 1B currently. It may not be prime depth, but they have pieces. Think about it.
Is Kivlehan or D.J. Peterson coveted more by the organization? Only one of them can be the 1B of the future. Logan Morrison may or may not last, Jesus Montero may or may not pan out this year. And across the diamond, Kyle Seager seems pretty entrenched at the hot corner for at least the next seven years.
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So what are you gonna do? Let Kivlehan sit in the minors for 5-7 more years? Same thing goes for Elias. He’s already the odd man out in the rotation. But by adding Hamels – who is under contract for four more seasons with a fifth year club option – gives Seattle a killer 3 at the top of Felix Hernandez, Hamels and Hisashi Iwakuma for 2015.
This could be a really smart move for Seattle. Whether it is enough to convince Amaro is another story. Outside of Elias – who had success last year – and Taylor – who impressed at times – none of the players offered in this deal have “big name flash”.
Amaro wants to make a splash if he is going to give up Hamels. However, the $96M owed to him could be a sticking point. Clubs won’t want to give up premiere talent unless the Phillies eat some of the contract.
If the Mariners were to take on the full salary, Amaro might bite on such a deal. Though it sounds like there is no timetable on a move. The Dodgers are thought to be considering offering Corey Seager in a deal for Hamels if they sign Yoan Moncada. So, this could drag out for some time still.
But for now, it’s all just fantasy baseball. Seattle may have been one of the teams “kicking the tires” but they are likely not seriously interested.
Unless they are.