PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Trading a 31-year-old left-handed ace, three time all-star, former World Series MVP, and respected teammate shouldn’t be difficult. You would expect there to be plenty of interest from contending ball clubs around the league.
But with the July 31st trade deadline looming, Cole Hamels is still a member of the 33-62 league’s worst and actively selling Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. explained on the Angelo Cataldi and 94WIP Morning Show, that teams are more reluctant that ever to relinquish young talent.
“One of the things about this trade deadline and trades in general that people don’t quite understand, and it’s a little bit of a different world now than it has been in past years, is that the value of that young player—that talented young player—is very, very high,” Amaro said on Tuesday morning. “Higher than its ever been. People keep talking about that one quote somebody threw out there, that ‘youth is the new PED,’ which is probably pretty sure.
Listen: Ruben Amaro Jr. on the 94WIP Morning Show
“But the other side of the coin is, when you think about it, when a team trades a bonafide major league and they get minor league players or prospects in return, the trading team—the team that trades away the major league player—immediately gets worse,” he continued. “And the other club immediately gets better. They’re adding a major league talent that’s proven and there is the hope, that with the research and the things that you do as a scouting organization and analyzing it in all the ways you can analyze it, that the players that you can get back will be commensurate to the talent that you just gave up. But the fact of the matter is, it’s all really a crap shoot because they’re not in the big leagues and you just don’t have any idea if those young players will become major league players.”
Hamels, who has an annual $23.5 million cap hit through 2018, has struggled in his last two starts allowing a combined 14 earned runs in just 6.1 innings pitched. According to Amaro, that has not effected his value.
“If the shoe was on the other foot and we were looking to add at this stage of the game,” Amaro said. “We look look at the history of the player, we look at his—here’s the deal. If we were scouting Mike Trout and he went 0 for 12 leading up to the trade deadline, would you not trade for him?
“The reality of it is, the gentleman has been pitching for almost 10 years or whatever long he’s been pitching in the big leagues now and there’s a track record that the guy has. I think the most important thing you would do as a scout or another club is to make sure, health wise, the pitcher or the player was fine.
“You don’t necessarily performance scout,” Amaro continued. “You have to look at the other elements of what that player brings to the table and our players are healthy, and for the most part, their going on all cylinders. So we don’t have an issues with that.”