MLB Trade Rumors: Everybody Loves Cole Hamels

Say what you will about MLB Trade Rumors, they know how to aggregate rumors in such a way that it suddenly seems plausible that every team in baseball is interested in acquiring Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels. That's the gist of this post from Edward Creech, which lists all the teams that had scouts in to see Hamels's latest start (the St. Louis Cardinals not included) and still ends with the suggestion that the Phillies might just end up extending Hamels anyway.

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I'm firmly on the Zack Greinke bandwagon, so I haven't been covering Hamels's trade-or-no-trade saga quite so closely. The gist: Cole Hamels is very good (strikeout-an-inning, four-to-one K:BB, Chris Carpenter kind of good) and he's a free agent after the 2012 season. The Phillies are ancient and nearing a forced rebuild, which leaves 28-year-old Hamels in a strange in-between place; he's better than he's ever been, and he's not old, but he would be by the end of any contract extension.

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The Phillies could probably nab a top prospect for Hamels; if they decide to blow up the team--say, by trading Chase Utley--it might be hard to resist finishing the job by dumping their most valuable asset.

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