Astros Rumors: Will Luhnow go ‘All-In’ for Cole Hamels?


Despite the trade deadline on Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies have issued a statement that they want teams best trade offer in Ruben Amaros hands on Wednesday for starter Cole Hamels. While the Rangers are considered the front-runners, the Astros appear to be waiting in the weeds with the best package available with the deep farm system. However, before Luhnow can go all-in to get Hamels, he has to want to come to Houston in the first place. Astros rumors are fun, yes?

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The Astros have been rumored to be making a strong push for Cole Hamels by Jayson Stark, but he mentioned that the Astros were told that he would not approve a trade there. Before the season, Hamels was asked to list ten teams he would accept a trade to. At the time the Astros had the fourth-worst record in baseball, so you can see how the Astros did not make his ten teams he would accept a trade to. However, would he have a change of heart with a team that is tied for first place in the AL West.

The Astros should be out of the discussion because of Hamels perceived uninterest in playing for them, but they keep hanging around because Jeff Luhnow is a smart guy. He knows that no other team can offer the prospect package that the Astros can. That is why Luhnow, after weeks of keeping the media and fans updated on what they are looking for, he has suddenly gone into silent mode.

Luhnow is probably close to a deal as I am writing this because he knows that other teams are trying to match what he could potentially offer the Phillies. He can’t control what the Cardinals front office is doing to learn his secrets, but he can keep everyone else in the dark. Luhnow was on the field prior to the game but was spotted answering his phone and running into the Astros dugout tunnel.

Luhnow and his brain trust appeared to be busy all night long, which is to be expected right before the trade deadline. The Astros competition has improved itself, with some of the bigger moves being Johnny Cueto (Royals), Troy Tulowitzki (Blue Jays), and many small additions by the Angels. There might be added pressure on Luhnow to add to the current team to take it from being good to great, and that’s what a Hamels type trade would do. As Ken Rosenthal is reporting in the Tweet below, Hamels is still on the radar.

You might be thinking, why go after Hamels when you have already traded for Scott Kazmir. The reason is clear, Kazmir represents what the Astros needed in 2015 for a relatively cheap price. The addition of Hamels would address the 2015 Astros, but is geared more towards the 2016-2019 teams with the guaranteed contract. This would give the Astros two aces for the next three years at least for a cheaper price compared to what the market for aces is now. If Kazmir does not re-sign, you at least have Hamels.

Evan Drellich further fueled to Hamels fire with the Tweet below.

The price for Hamels will not be cheap, but could pay off in the present and the future. So what is the package that Luhnow has on the table for Hamels, just speculation but it could include Tony Kemp, Mark Appel, Jon Singleton, and Micheal Feliz. Domingo Santana could be included or could replace one of the other four, or could be added for the Phillies to offer financial relief for the Hamels contract. The Phillies scouted the Astros Double-A team last night.

Getting Hamels will make Appel expendable while the key player would be Kemp, who can take over for Chase Utley when needed. Well, if Drellich’s Tweet didn’t send people into a conspiracy theorist mindset, the following Tweet by Jose de Jesus Ortiz.

The bad thing about being a blogger is you don’t get the first-hand access to the news. We have to rely on the people with the media, so we don’t get to see the body language that the Astros brass has when things are said. Plus, if a reporter gets a big story, they will not give it away until their article comes out. The Tweet above ended up being about a team portrait the Astros will take soon.

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This is the life of Astros fans at the moment, fans and bloggers highly scrutinize everything that is said in the media, myself included. It’s great to be buyers again because it means you are relevant. Check back with CTH for the latest trade news or rumors.

A good quote from Evan Drellich’s article found here, “Jeff could step up,” one executive speculated. “Or he’ll get to face Hamels for the next three years.” That’s a great illustration of what Luhnow is going through.

Next: Houston Astros Rumors: Padres’ Tyson Ross receiving interest from club?

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