Cole Hamels is the biggest name on the starting pitcher market, and with just four days left before the trade deadline passes, the interested teams are starting to become clearer. According to Jon Heyman, the Rangers are seen as a "slight leader" in the race to acquire the Hamels, and that the Dodgers are a close second.
The Phillies have reportedly "focused on catcher Jorge Alfaro and Nomar Mazara in talks with Texas, and are said to want to receive one or the other back in any Hamels talk." Baseball America ranked Alfaro and Mazaro third and fourth, respectively, on their top ten prospect list back in December, and are both currently at AA.
In talks with the Dodgers, the front office has "been steadfast in their refusal to part with top shortstop Corey Seager and top young lefty Julio Urias in any talks, which has been a sticking point in discussions on several ace pitchers." Ruben Amaro reportedly asked for Seager, Urias, and Joc Pederson last year when they were discussing Hamels (which he denied), but nothing ever materialized. It would seem that Amaro's asking price hasn't changed all that much, which could be the biggest road block for the Dodgers.
While Texas and Los Angeles appear to be the favorites as of now, Jim Salisbury noted that two teams from the AL East had scouts in attendance for Hamels' no-hitter.
Texas had 2 scouts in to see Hamels yest. Yanks, Boston one each. Blue Jays here but maybe for Pap, Revere. As of now, Tex is lead team— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 26, 2015
Boston hasn't been tied to Hamels as much as they were earlier in the year, and while the Yankees aren't expected to do anything major before the deadline, they can't be counted out. Both teams are on opposite ends of the win-spectrum, but the beauty of Hamels is that even teams with losing records are interested in him for long-term implications.
As for the last two teams that have reportedly shown a desire to acquire the Phillies' ace, the Giants might be the longest-shot because of the price tag, while the Cubs are still hanging around.
Chicago has a lot of prospects that they could deal, and could be seen as the best match because of how many highly regarded players they have in the minor league system. They already have a crowded infield, and might be interested in parting with some of their prospects that don't have a clear path to their 25-man roster. Daniel Vogelbach has no where to go with Anthony Rizzo entrenched at first base, and unless the NL adopts the DH rather quickly, he simply doesn't fit for the Cubs.
The expectation is that Hamels will be wearing a different uniform before his next start, but there don't seem to be any rumors that signal any imminent trade.There are a lot of teams in the mix for his services, but unless the Phillies get realistic about his value, they could fail to trade him for the third consecutive time.