Report: Red Sox eyeing Hamels as backup plan

As expected, the Red Sox are looking at Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels as a contingency plan in the event that free agent Jon Lester signs elsewhere, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Though that certainly comes as no surprise, the intriguing part is that Rosenthal adds it’s not out of the question that the Red Sox could ultimately land both Lester and Hamels.

The Red Sox have long been considered one of the favorites to sign Lester, though the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants are also among the clubs that have made a strong push in recent weeks. Multiple reports have suggested that Lester could reach a desicion sometime this week.

Lester’s decision aside, the Red Sox apparently seem to be at least contemplating making a potential deal for Hamels, regardless of where Lester signs. The Phillies would undoubtedly want a significant haul of prospects in return, but the Red Sox seem to match up well as a potential trade partner.

Hamels, 30, is owed $96 million over the next four seasons with a $24 million option for 2019, so his contract actually falls right in line with the deals being sought by the top free agents on the market.

— Paul Casella

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