MLB Trade Rumors: Cole Hamels Has Detroit Tigers On Block List


The Detroit Tigers are one of 20 teams on Cole Hamels’ no-trade list.

There haven’t yet been any serious trade rumors linking the Detroit Tigers to Cole Hamels, but Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly recently reminded us that there would be a roadblock to clear if the Tigers were to get serious about landing the top pitcher available for the second straight year. Cole Hamels has a partial no-trade clause in his contract, and the Detroit Tigers are one of 20 teams on the block list.

"According to sources, Hamels’ nine-team “trade-to” list consists of two American League teams (Yankees and Rangers) and seven National League teams (Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs and Mets)."

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The list above is a “trade-to” list meaning Hamels can block a trade to any team not listed (it’s simpler to list nine teams than it is to list 20 teams).

Fans often think of no-trade lists as teams the player simply wouldn’t want to play for, but more often they’re used to create additional leverage in negotiations. Sometimes a player wants to guarantee an immediate extension with the new team, he might want an option year picked up, or he might want a team-friendly option year declined in order to hit free agency sooner.

Here’s Hamels’ current contract situation, again according to Salisbury:

"Hamels entered this season with four years and $96 million remaining on his contract. That figure could rise to $110 million if the pitcher’s 2019 contract option kicks in."

It’s possible that all Hamels would be willing to waive his no-trade rights to a team like the Tigers if they simply guaranteed the option year at the end of the contract. The option year makes for a cheaper year at “just” $14 million, but Hamels will be 35 in 2019 so he’d be guaranteeing himself a nice payout in the event of injury or ineffectiveness.

The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be asking a boatload in return for their ace starting pitcher, and the Tigers may not be able to put together a prospect package to satisfy their demands, but even if they did they’d have to clear this hurdle and get Hamels to agree to the trade as well. It’s not an impossible obstacle to get past, but it does make it even less likely that he ultimately ends up in Detroit.

But if we’ve learned one thing, it’s to never count out Dave Dombrowski and Mike Ilitch when it comes to making a big-time move.

Next: Tigers Looking at Samardzija and Buchholz

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