Why am I writing about Cole Hamels?
It’s not so you get your hopes up here. In fact, my advice is that you be better off not bothering wanting him at all. But according to Jayson Stark’s lengthy analysis at ESPN.com of what the Phillies might choose to do with pitcher Cole Hamels this winter, the Jays and the Red Sox are “two clubs with strong interest.”
So… I guess that’s why? Maybe?
Thing is, we’ve been down this road before. It’s usually blocked by a player’s no-trade clause — and, lo and behold, there’s one here, too. “USA Today reported this month that the eight teams Hamels can’t block are the Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves, Nationals, Padres, Yankees and Rangers,” Stark explains. “But sources say that was a previous incarnation of his list, and that at least one of those teams has changed since the end of the season.”
The Jays and the Red Sox, though, remain “among the teams he can veto.” So… why am I writing about Cole Hamels?
I really have no goddamned idea, to be honest. Except that despite the existence of the no-trade — something we’ve know at least since Bob Elliot pointed out Hamels’ 2014 list in the Toronto Sun two weeks ago, but surely for much longer — Stark twice in his piece lists the Jays among suitors. Up there with Boston and the Cubs and the Dodgers, though I have absolutely no idea why they would be.