Sitting in last place with the third-highest payroll in the majors, the Philadelphia Phillies appear close to a massive breakup. At some point before the July 31 trade deadline, it would not be surprising to see them sell off pieces with a rebuild in mind.
One player that may interest other teams is lefty starter Cole Hamels, who is enjoying another solid season with a 2.87 ERA across 100 1/3 innings. Hamels, however, has a no-trade clause that can block a deal with 20 of the other 29 MLB teams other than the Phillies.
FoxSports.com got hold of those nine teams late Tuesday night, and the Nats just happen to be one of them. Yes, the division rival Nationals, the same team whose GM once called Hamels "fake tough" after seeing the southpaw target Bryce Harper with a beanball.
Here is the full list via Jon Morosi:
Cole Hamels can be traded to LAD, LAA, STL, WAS, ATL, NYY, BOS, TEX, SD without his permission, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 8, 2014
Now, the Nationals have plenty going for them when it comes to starting pitchers and would likely have no interest at all in an expensive starting pitcher such as Hamels. The likelihood of them trading for Hamels is extremely low.
Still, the fact Hamels would consider joining the Nationals is interesting to say the least.