When I think of Cole Hamels I think of a young Lenny Dykstra taking over rightfield for the next six years; or a young Bake McBride, and maybe even, a younger Roy Halladay.
When I see Cole Hamels, I see a new start for the Phillies.
Hamels traded to the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, or Angels, could bring 2-3 young, blue chip outfielders here and turn the club from old and over paid to young and hungry.
Not only would it be good for the Phillies, but let's face it, with this team going nowhere for several years, it could put Hamels on a team that can actually score runs. Wouldn't that be nice?
It's a no brainer, a win-win situation for Cole and the Phillies.
But trading Hamels doesn't solve the Phillies problems. They still have to shed salary and drive their payroll down — but easier said than done.
Howard, Utley, Rollins, Lee, Papelbon, and Carlos Ruiz — are they even tradable, without eating most of their salaries?
An infield of Franco, Galvis, Hernandez and Ruf — and the payroll takes a significant dive. Two blue chip prospects in the outfield with Revere in the middle also drives down payroll.
With the payroll down at $100 million or less, the club can put together a rotation using the free agent market and trades.
Suddenly, Phillies baseball becomes exciting again.
But here's the thing. The 2014 Phillies aren't among the worst teams in Phillies history. But they are close. Let's look at the five worst teams and their records in each preceding season (post 1950.)
1. 1961 — 47-107 (59-95 in 1960)
2. 1969 — 63-99 (76-86 in 1968)
3. 1972 — 59-97 (67-95 in 1971)
4. 1988 — 65-96 (80-82 in 1987)
5. 2000 — 65-97 (77-85 in 1999)
Do you see a pattern? In each preceding year, the team hovered between 80 and 95 losses.
The 2014 Phillies (71-84), with 7 games remaining, project to 75-87, give or take a win or loss.
Mr. Amaro can turn this team around. But he's got to trade Cole and lower payroll — before the daffodils and tulips reappear in South Philadelphia.
Or get ready for a hundred losses.