Are Phillies eyeing a potential Cole Hamels reunion? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Cole Hamels is looking to make a comeback.
The former Phillies great is holding a workout on Friday at 1 p.m. in Frisco, Texas, at the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate’s ballpark – and the Phillies will indeed be in attendance, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman:
The workout is expected to be attended by a bunch of teams – including the Mets, which is gross – so it’s not surprising that the Phils would send someone (or multiple someones) to evaluate Hamels. The team is hurting for consistent pitching in the rotation after their first three guys, and Hamels has obvious long-time ties to the organization.
But it’s still noteworthy that the front office is looking all over for ways to improve as we head into the season’s second half, with the Phillies just 3.5 games out of first in the rock fight that is the NL East.
And since the decision of where to play is up to Hamels, rather than some sort of trade situation, the emotional pull of potentially returning to Philadelphia probably goes in the “pro” column for the 37-year-old lefty.
(Though ironically, just last month Hamels listed his Delco home for sale – whoops!)
Last November, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury floated the idea of adding Hamels for some rotation depth:
“There’s always been mutual interest of an end-of-career reunion between Hamels and the Phillies. After being limited to just 3 1/3 innings with Atlanta because of injuries in 2020, the time might be right to bring back Hamels on a low-guarantee, incentive-laden deal. Hamels will pitch at 37 next season. He’s not the same pitcher who carried the Phils through the glorious 2008 postseason, but if healthy, he could provide innings and veteran leadership to the staff.”
Hamels spent the first 10 years of his MLB career with the Phillies, winning 114 games – including Game 5 of the 2008 World Series – and making three All-Star appearances. Since he was traded to the Rangers in 2015, Hamels has tacked on another 768 innings and recorded an All-Star season in 2016 with the Rangers. He was traded to the Cubs in 2018.
Hamels hasn’t pitched in MLB in 2021 after spent the 2020 season in Atlanta, where he suffered a shoulder injury in spring training and then appeared in just one game with the Braves.
At this point, if Hamels flashes at the workout and seems to have bounced back from the shoulder stuff, it couldn’t possibly hurt the Phillies to at least give him a shot. Between the inconsistency from Vince Velasquez and Matt Moore and the stuttering Spencer Howard experiment leaving the youngster back in Lehigh Valley, this team clearly needs more depth in the rotation if it wants to make even a fledgling run at the postseason.
Plus, fans would absolutely love having Hamels return to Philly all these years later. Count me in.
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