Cole Hamels has been the subject of trade talks ever since it was evident the Philadelphia Phillies would not be making the postseason. Hamels is apparently selling his home in Philadelphia, which is raising speculation of a trade being imminent.
Prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, a number of teams including the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers contacted the Phillies about Hamels' availability, but it was reported that Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro wanted too much in return for the left-hander, who is owed over $100 million through the 2018 season. But if Amaro wants to begin building for the future, he's going to have to trade one of his team's assets in Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon or Marlon Byrd.
Last week Hamels was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs, but the teams couldn't work out a trade within the mandatory 48-hour window. Now, speculation is heating up about a possible Hamels-to-Boston deal because Philadelphia has been spending much time scouting the Red Sox farm system in search of young talent. It was also noted that Hamels is from San Diego and his wife is from St. Louis, which has brought up the rare possibility that he lands with the Padres or the Cardinals, but the Red Sox are seemingly the frontrunners right now.
"Even after the trade deadline, the Phillies have had a scout in Boston, St. Louis, and Anaheim watching Boston's young players," said Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "The match would be Cole Hamels for young players, and it may very well heat up this offseason. Hamels, according to a source close to him, would be open to a deal with the Red Sox."
Also in the NL East, Jonathon Niese of the New York Mets cleared waivers on Monday, which now allows the team to trade him to any team in baseball. Although general manager Sandy Alderson said the team would be 'hard-pressed' to trade the left-hander, the situation is becoming more interesting as the Dodgers lost a left-hander of their own in Hyun-Jin Ryu last night in Atlanta. Ryu suffered a right gluteus muscle strain and was pulled from his start after 5 2/3 innings. If he happens to land on the disabled list, that means the Dodgers will be without him and Josh Beckett for at least two weeks, and they could seek Niese's services with the plethora of young talent in their farm system and excess outfielders on their current roster.
Additionally, Alex Rios of the Texas Rangers cleared waivers last week, and it was believed he would be garnering much interest among contenders in need of an outfielder, but he suffered a sprained right ankle on July 19 and it has been hindering his ability to play ever since. His trade value continues to fluctuate as he continues to be in and out of the lineup. Rios is still an asset, but it's likely teams want to make sure he's healthy before acquiring him to contribute as the postseason approaches.
You can keep up with the latest baseball trade info on ESPN's MLB Rumors page.