It has been over a year since the world knew that Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels was on the trade block. Since that time, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr has taken a beating in the press and on the radio for the lack of movement on Hamels.
Most teams claim it is because Amaro was asking for a king’s ransom in exchange for Hamels. Including 2-3 of the team’s top prospects and a couple of other 2nd tier players as well.
Amaro may have made a mistake in not dealing Hamels earlier and not being willing to budge on the asking price, but what the Phillies did on Saturday, may be an even bigger obstacle in dealing Hamels.
Hamels made history by throwing the first no-hitter at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas in 1972. So shouldn’t a no-hitter prove to the world that Hamels is a true ace and worth everything that Amaro wants for him? I mean surely this will only jack the price of Hamels up and get the teams involved in trying to get him to be champing at the bit.
Well, if I am the Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs, Blue Jays or any of the other myriad of teams that would like to add Hamels to their rotation, I am now thinking again. In his no-hitter, Hamels threw a season high 129 pitches. That is a lot of work on that valuable left arm.
Just look at the last three pitchers to throw no-no’s with a ton of pitches. On June 25th, 2010 Diamondbacks starter Edwin Jackson threw a no-no on 149 pitches. He later signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Cubs and has been one of the biggest busts in free agent history.
On July 13th, 2013 Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres on 148 pitches. Prior to that he was a multiple Cy Young winner and looked to be well on his way to an incredible career. Since then, he has an ERA approaching 5 and has never been even close to the same pitcher he once was.
Finally, on June 1st, 2012 Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, on 134 pitches. After that game, Sanatana made just a couple more horrible starts that season, and has not been on a mound anywhere since.
If history tells us anything, it is allowing personal glory at the expense of an overwork is a huge mistake, one that the Phillies made in Chicago. After throwing 100 pitches or so, Phillies management should have pulled him from the game to protect their investment.
Instead they let him go out and complete the no hitter, on a team that is going nowhere. If I am one of those squads who was interested in landing Hamels (who has four years left on his deal too), I would start to look elsewhere. History just isn’t on their side.