Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. might be considering an all-out rebuild this winter. Then again, that doesn't sound at all like something he'd be into. Rumors have circulated that his team is actively shopping 2013 All Star Domonic Brown, and now he could be fielding offers for the key arms at the front of his rotation.
Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are two of the game's most dominant left handed pitchers, but their contracts reflect that prestigiousness accordingly. That could complicate trade talks considerably. The Phillies are unlikely to move either player if they're asked to swallow any part of those future considerations, and they'd like significant prospects in return as well. Yeah, that does sound like a win-win.
The talent level of either pitcher could be enough to tempt rival GMs into accepting those terms, but adding a pitcher for $100 million and some of the best prospects on the farm might keep these rumors from gaining any momentum.
Lee will earn $50 million over the next two season and has a $27.5 million option that could vest if he pitches 200 innings in 2015 or 400 total innings from 2014-15. So basically, teams interested in Lee would be on the hook for $77.5 million for three years. Barring injury, Lee is likely to reach those totals.
Hamels' deal runs throughout the 2018 season and has a similar vesting option for 2019. The Phillies still owe him $112.5 million, or $132.5 million if his option vests. Both pitchers have been among league leaders in ERA and innings pitched over the last three seasons, so a club could decide to make a bold move to acquire one of the two.
A deal seems very unlikely though. Unfortunately for Amaro, he can't trade with himself.
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