Astros could enter mix for Hamels
The Astros are reportedly being considered a “sleeper team” in trade talks regarding the Phillies’ Cole Hamels, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
The Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rangers and Giants have all been linked to Hamels this offseason, though Cafardo believes the Astros could swoop in and make a push to work out a deal with the Phils. That said, Hamels does have a no-trade list and it’s unclear at this point whether or not the Astros are on it.
Either way, there is speculation that Hamels might be willing to waive his no-trade clause for any of the aforementioned teams, if said team agrees to pick up his $20 million club option for 2019. He’s currently owed $90 million over the next four seasons before that option year comes into play.
The Giants’ interest likely depends on whether or not they’re able to sign James Shields, while the Cubs could fall out of the race as well after signing top free agent starter Jon Lester last week. The Red Sox and Dodgers are widely believed to still be the frontrunners for Hamels, but it appears they may have more competition than initially expected.
— Paul Casella