Could Hamels be next for Red Sox?
It’s no secret that Cole Hamels could likely be dealt out of Philadelphia this offseason and, as it turns out, the Red Sox are the team that has had “the most serious talks” with the Phillies regarding the left-hander, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Boston, of course, also still has an offer in to Jon Lester. With the club reportedly on the verge of signing both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, however, the Red Sox could now be in a position to move some of their surplus pieces in a potential trade.
The Red Sox offer to Lester has been reported to be in the range of $110-120 million. The 30-year-old Hamels, meanwhile, is owed $96 million over the next four seasons, with a $24 million option for 2019.
Though Boston reportedly shot down trade offers from the Phillies earlier this offseason, the Red Sox’s recent flourish in free agency certainly changes the team’s current outlook. With Ramirez and Sandoval locked up for the foreseeable future, the Red Sox may now be willing to part with the players ultimately needed to land Hamels.
The Red Sox also need to figure out what exactly to do with Ramirez, as they are almost certainly not going to give up on 22-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts. That means the most likely scenario involves moving Ramirez to the outfield, where the Red Sox already have an abundance of potential starters.
Among the list of potential outfielders currently on Boston’s roster are Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig and Jackie Bradley Jr. The recent signings of Sandoval and Ramirez could indicate that at least one of those outfielders will be on the move at some point this winter.
Either way, it seems the Red Sox are far from done this offseason.
— Paul Casella