The Phillies are doing background work on Red Sox prospects Christian Vazquez, Matt Barnes and Mookie Betts, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rosenthal notes that those are likely the type of prospects that the Phillies would request in any deal involving Cole Hamels, whom the Red Sox have shown interest in so far this winter.
Betts is thought of as untouchable in trade talks, but may be considered critical in Hamels talks after his breakout season in 2014. Boston's system is one of the deepest in the majors and includes some positional redundancy that may be attractive to Philadelphia, with names like Barnes, shortstop Deven Marrero and third baseman Garin Cecchini among the names who could be shopped.
Hamels can reportedly block a trade to the Red Sox, but industry speculation is that he would be willing to accept a trade to a contender as part of the Phillies' rebuilding process. The Cubs are known as one of the most interested teams in the Hamels sweepstakes, and also have the prospects to get a deal done with Philadelphia.