Recent reports have aligned the Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies as possible trade partners, the target for the Red Sox being Lefty Starting Pitcher Cole Hamels. Though Hamels has a fabulous track record in the National League, not so in the American League where he carries a 4 ½ ERA.
Some people project Hamels as a possible replacement, IE contingency plan for the Red Sox should they not be able to re-sign Jon Lester. I don’t see Hamels as a viable contingency plan to Lester at all. In fact the only pitchers I might consider him to be a good plan B to are; John Lackey or Clay Buchholz. With the uncertainty of Lackey’s contract for next year it would make sense to acquire another top Starter should Lackey decide not to report. With Buchholz never ending stints on the DL it would make sense to acquire another healthy, veteran body to take his place (assuming the Sox would trade Clay at some point). But to expect a career NL Pitcher to change leagues and pick up where Lester left off is asking too much in my opinion.
One angle that I haven’t heard discussed is the possibility that the Red Sox have had trade discussions with another team, say the Miami Marlins for Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (Or a similar power bat). Within those discussions that team may have said they would want a Cole Hamels in return. In which case the Sox would acquire Hamels then flip him to that team to acquire said bat. If this were the case I would be all for the acquisition and subsequent trade of Hamels.
For what it would presumably cost to acquire Hamels, that is the only way I would be in favor of his acquisition. Otherwise I would walk away and work harder at signing the pitcher we know will continue to pitch well against AL competition, one Jon Lester. It’s time for the Red Sox to stop dinking around and pay the man or risk the ire of most of Red Sox Nation.