The cellar-dwelling Philadelphia Phillies might be on the verge of moving three stars from their 2008 World Series team.
According to various reports, pitcher Cole Hamels, shortstop Jimmy Rollins and centerfielder Shane Victorino could be reaching the end of their storied careers with the Phillies.
Although the three cornerstones boast a combined eight All-Star appearances, the Phillies sit 13 games behind division leader Washington Nationals and have been underachievers in 2012.
Moving Hamels would be the biggest shakeup as the 28-year-old southpaw has been one of the few bright spots on a team riddled with injuries.
Pitching in the large shadows of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, Hamels has been a rock solid No. 3 starter, but with the duo rendered ineffective this year, Hamels has anchored the pitching staff.
At first glance, Hamels’ career mark of 85 wins in six-plus seasons doesn’t seem ace-worthy, but his 8.50 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.36 ERA suggest he’s more than capable of being an impact guy in someone else’s rotation.
So why is the kid who went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA during the 2008 playoffs possibly on the move?
Philadelphia has already committed hundreds of millions of dollars to Halladay and Lee, and Hamels is more than worthy of his own long-term contract.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Phillies plan to offer Hamels a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 million, but members of the organization aren’t optimistic they can hold onto the three-time All Star.
If the Phillies can’t reach an extension with Hamels, there should be a long line of potential trade partners.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported that scouts from over a half dozen teams attending Hamels’ dazzling performance on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that could be interested in acquiring the lefty, but Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes that the Dodgers may not have the trade chips to orchestrate a deal.
While the possibility of moving Hamels looms, two key position players are also on the trade block.
Rollins, a longtime fan favorite and face of the franchise, has been a major disappointment this year after signing a three-year, $33 million deal in the offseason.
The former NL MVP is batting just .262 with a .317 on-base percentage and 14 steals thus far.
Knobler writes that the Dodgers could also be in the market for Rollins after starting shortstop Dee Gordon hit the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
However, there are a couple hang-ups in a potential Rollins deal.
The 33-year-old has a vesting option for a fourth year for $11 million, a hefty price tag for a severely declining player who hasn’t hit above .268 since 2008.
In addition, Rollins also has 10-and-5 rights, giving him the ability to veto any trade.
While I tend to think Rollins has always been a severely overrated player, he has been a good shortstop and above-average hitter at times, and it only takes one team’s interest to get the action flowing.
Hawaiian sensation Shane Victorino could be the last Phillies star to be on the move.
The high-flying, energetic sparkplug has developed into one of the game’s better centerfielders since becoming a starter in 2006.
However, after batting .290 between ’06-’09, Victorino has only been a .263 hitter since.
The 31-year-old has only scored 36 runs in 90 games and his .707 OPS would be his lowest mark as a starter by 51 points.
Whether all three of the Phillies trio gets moved, or just one, it appears likely there will be a shakeup in The City of Brotherly Love this summer.
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