Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No, The Yankees Should NOT Trade For Hamels

Let me begin by saying that Cole Hamels is a very good pitcher. You don't earn Cy Young Award votes in three of the last four years by being just "okay". 

"I'd say 'thanks for the props', but I have a feeling this is a set-up."

While I could talk about his ERAs, FIPs, WHIPs, and other acronyms that will impress you, let me tell you about a few other things...
  1. Last season, Hamels' fastball actually averaged a mile per hour higher than his career mark.
  2. His ground ball and fly ball percentages are very respectable, especially to a team that would want a pitcher that gives up more ground balls and less fly balls.
  3. Since 2009, Cole has only missed 31 games (that's games... not starts) due to issues involving his throwing arm. Other than that, he missed seven games due to a strained ankle in 2009, and eight games in 2012 for general medical reasons. 
So, in a vacuum, it would be great to have Cole Hamels in the Yankees' rotation. But here are four reasons why I don't believe the Yankees should trade for him...
  1. Hamels is overpaid. He will make $22.5 million each season over the next four years (club/vesting option for $20 million in 2019). According to Fangraphs, last season was his highest value dollar wise, and that was $21 million. For comparison, Max Scherzer (who the Yankees could have signed for money only) was worth $32 and $30.7 million in the last two years.
  2. He's 31 years old, which means his best days are likely behind him. He's not getting better... he's getting worse. I don't mean to say he'll be the team's next Sidney Ponson, but it's more likely that he's the #3 starter on the team in the near future, rather than the team's ace.
  3. Cole's thrown 200+ innings in six out of his last seven seasons. That season he didn't throw 200 was in 2009, when he tossed 193.2. I mentioned he's been healthy throughout his career, but that high a workload is bound to catch up to him. And who wants a guy making over $20 million a year on the sidelines (*cough*Sabathia*cough*).
  4. Aaron Judge could be the anchor of the lineup for years to come, Luis Severino could be a top pitcher for years, and... especially being a second baseman... Rob Refsnyder could be very valuable to the team for a long time. And those three names were just the beginning of what Philadelphia apparently wanted in return.
The only way I could even fathom such a trade would be if Hamels was the final piece to a strong World Series contender. As the team stands, even with him, their best bet for the postseason may be one of the two Wild Card berths. And there's no way I would damage the future for the flippin' Wild Card.

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