Cubs pursuit of SP includes asking Phillies about Hamels

The Cubs continue to pop up as a potential landing spot for big-name players this winter, most recently for Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Hamels, like just about every other player on the Phillies roster, is figures to be made available via trade this offseason. It’s certainly worth pursuing for the Cubs, who have already been rumored to have interest in marquee free agent pitchers Max Scherzer and Jon Lester.

It remains unclear at this point where exactly each pitcher ranks on the Cubs’ wish list — or what the Cubs would be willing to part with to bring in Hamels. It’s also worth noting that the Cubs claimed Hamels on revocable waivers back in August before the Phillies pulled him back after the two sides failed to reach a deal.

As for the financial impact of potentially acquiring Hamels, it would certainly take a significant toll on Chicago’s payroll, albeit a smaller one than signing Scherzer would. Hamels is due $96 million over the next four seasons, while Scherzer is testing the free agent market after turning down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers back in Spring Training.

From a logistical standpoint, Hamels would also need to approve a potential trade to the Cubs, a team that was not on his list of approved teams back in August. That nine-team list consisted only of the Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Cardinals, Nationals, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers. That said, Hamels was expected to update that list on Nov. 1, though it’s not immediately clear whether or not that has happened at this point.

It’s not unreasonable to think the Cubs could find their way onto that updated list. The North Side of Chicago is quickly becoming a more lucrative destination, given their recent hiring of manager Joe Maddon and the expectations that they will be busy upgrading their roster via free agency this offseason.

— Paul Casella

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