Monday, July 27, 2015

The Case for Cole Hamels

Look, even talking about this may very well be an academic exercise. We already know that the Astros are on Cole Hamels' no-trade list, which doesn't mean that he can't be traded to Houston, it just means he would have to approve a trade to the Astros. Which - of course - he may not be willing to do. But, for tonight, let's just say that he will. While we're Just Saying Things, let's also say that I'm Jeff Luhnow, and it's my call on whether or not to pull the trigger on sending whatever ransom Ruben Amaro is demanding.

If I'm looking at my core players: Altuve, Correa, Keuchel, Springer, I'm looking at the window of when they're in their prime. Altuve and Springer are 25. Keuchel is 27. Correa is but a wee lad of 20, of course. But if the Astros want to strike while these players are in their prime, then it makes perfect sense to trade for Cole Hamels.

Because you're buying Hamels for essentially the last 10 starts of his Age 31 season, and then his Age 32-34 seasons (and a buyout or vesting option for his Age 35 season). So acquiring Hamels means that you have another ace lefty to go alongside Keuchel (Scott Kazmir is not germane to this particular discussion), who will be in his Age 28-31 seasons from 2016-2019, while Altuve and Springer are in their Age 26-29 seasons over the life of Hamels' contract, straight peaking. Correa will be in his Age 21-24 seasons, which is just amazing.

That gives you a foundation of Hamels, Keuchel, Springer, Altuve, and Correa right in the prime of the latter four's careers (Hamels would be on the downward slope of his career) - and we're not even talking about McCullers and Velasquez (one of which you just know is going to Philly in return), McHugh, whomever else. You show any potential free agent those five core players, and I guarantee you the Astros are going to be more of an attractive destination to fill in the holes that can't yet be filled through the farm system - which will remain deep after this fictional trade goes through.

We fans suffered - I have an Astros jersey made of sackcloth and ashes - so the franchise could have the depth to even be a part of this conversation. Do it.


Anonymous said...

That's all well and good, Thomas, but what's the price of poker? How many pounds of flesh (and more important, which flesh) do you, as Jeff Luhnow, have to give Philly to bring Hamels to MMP?

John Martin said...

It's hard to keep track of these things but I don't recall Crasnick really having Astros sources in the past. This seems like a quote coming out of Philly to drive up the asking price.

Brent said...

No. DON'T do it. Stay the course.

JoeinAlaska said...

Please don't do it. Buying expensive players does not guarentee near term success, it guarentees long term diaster when you wipe out your farm system.

Michael Carder said...

I'm really torn on this situation. I've been for the trade all this time but then I saw the steep (relative of course) price Luhnow paid for Kazmir and I really started to shift the other way. You can't tell me that it wouldn't cost 5 top players to get him. Don't for a minute even consider that it won't. But I watched the no-hitter. He was straight dealing. And no, he's not washed up, he's human. 3 years of being "on the block" will get to anyone. At this point, I can be swayed either way..