Cubs Reportedly Not on Cole Hamels' No-Trade List

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Cubs Reportedly Not on Cole Hamels’ No-Trade List

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[See UPDATE below, as a case of language parsing does me in. Kind of. You can read the post as it originally existed for posterity, but to be crystal clear up front: Buster Olney is reporting that Cole Hamels can NOT block a trade to the Cubs.]

A small update to this morning’s post on the Phillies’ demands in any Cole Hamels deal, and to the ongoing storyline about the Cubs possibly targeting Hamels in trade. Per his contract, Hamels can block trades to a large list of teams he comes up with each year in November. As expected, per Buster Olney (stated in the reverse manner), the Cubs are on that list.

Now, that doesn’t really mean much. Even if Hamels very much did want to be traded to the Cubs, he’d be smart to reserve the right to block trades to them, since they are known to be interested. That way, if a trade is consummated, he can wield his power to block the deal to get the Cubs to guarantee the $24 million 2019 option in his contract.

If Hamels and his representatives had any sense at all, this is exactly how you would have expected things to proceed. So, carry on.

UPDATE: Well, this got a little mixed up. Olney just tweeted a clarification:

And he was even courteous enough to send a clarification to me directly:

Good dude, that Olney. Give him a follow.

As to the substance … I’m scratching my head a bit. Hamels can block 20 teams (I know Olney says 9 there, but I’m pretty sure it’s 20 (which makes me wonder if there’s a little more confusion yet to be resolved … but we’ll get there when we get there)), so it’s not like he’s limited in that regard. Why would he not include the Cubs – a known interested suitor – so that he could get that option guaranteed? Does he presume he’d rather hit the open market in four years (or that he’ll make the option vest anyway by pitching healthily for the next four years?) and make more than the $24 million option? Does he know that the Cubs won’t try to trade for him at all?

Or does he simply really want to come to the Cubs? I’m trying not to get too ahead of myself here, but it kind of does seem that it’s a reasonable possibility. And, if so, does that change the calculus on trading for him at all? Because if he doesn’t use a no-trade clause to leverage the guarantee of that option, his contract is now four years and $96 million (a really great contract), with a 2019 vesting option at $24 million ($6 million buyout) if he’s healthy and pitches a lot of innings in 2017/18 essentially. That’s a pretty good contract all around, because now, if traded to the Cubs, the option would only kick in if he was pitching well.

[To be completely honest, my head is spinning a bit on this one additionally because I was writing the post (and tweeting) from the car (Wife driving) as we were dealing with a family situation. My computer died mid-drive, so I had to make due with the phone, and couldn’t quite dig in as much as I wanted. Just ran in the door to type this update.]

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.