Yesterday Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro went on a media spree, appearing with Mike Missanelli on 97.5 the Fanatic, 94WIP with Glen Macnow and Dan Klecko, and meeting with reporters to try to calm the Cole Hamels trade rumor storm.
"Mike, I'm doing great, but our team is terrible right now," Amaro opened his conversation with Missanelli. He went on to say that "when a team's playing like we are playing and you have lots of talented All-Star players, there will be a lot of speculation".
And of course, if the Phillies really are this terrible, Amaro told Missanelli that "there may be a point where we have to make tough decisions, but I'm not putting a date on it...it's very fluid".
And while Amaro says that "Our goal is to keep Cole in our uniform", if there is no meeting of the minds and a contract signed then yes, the Phillies will have to make the tough - but necessary - decision to sign Cole Hamels.
Really, any denial hinted at by newspaper headlines written by people who are not the writers themselves, Amaro really denied nothing. "These aren't things we discuss or talk about in front of other people", said Amaro in Matt Gelb's Phillies Zone piece.
Throughout the different conversations, at no point did Amaro say anything to the effect of, "we never talked to other teams about trading Cole Hamels." So, it should be no surprise that today Danny Knobler of CBS Sports says that Phillies are telling teams they could sell soon:
With the Phillies, you can believe what they say publicly, or you can believe what they're telling other teams in baseball. "They told me, 'If we lose any more games, we could be selling soon,'" one rival club official said Monday, after talking to a high-ranking Phillies official.
Knobler names Hamels, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton as those that could be traded before the July 31 deadline.
Don't forget Juan Pierre, either. He is only in town on a one-year, $800,000 deal that could be just what a team out there needs. Think a low-payroll team with a chance that needs offense, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would not bring back much, but something.
Phillies fans all love Cole Hamels, but sometimes baseball forces the General Manager's hand. But heck, maybe trading Hamels will help the Phillies' chances of re-signing him. Cliff Lee played elsewhere and realized that there was nothing like playing in Philadelphia. Maybe Hamels could do the same.
Interestingly, Cole Hamels is NOT on Jim Bowden's list of 10 players most likely to be moved before the July 31 trade deadline on ESPN.