Could Cole Hamels Return to the Phillies?
Former Phillie Cole Hamels is looking to return to the pitcher’s mound in the major leagues in 2022…are you thinking what we’re thinking?
Cole Hamels Wants to Pitch in 2023
Before we get into the Cole Hamels stuff, we want to give a big shoutout to Bob Nightengale and Jon Heyman for putting on an absolute clinic of what not to do at Winter Meetings. Between “Coke Hamels,” “Arson Judge to the Giants,” and $280M being greater than $300M, the two have absolutely killed it this week.
Cole Hamels hasn’t pitched since 2020, and even that year was just three innings. His last full season was really solid with the Chicago Cubs. Hamels logged 141.2 total innings in 2019, tallying a 7-7 record with a 3.81 ERA. He allowed 141 hits while striking out 143 with an ERA+ of 116.
The Phillies found their #4 of the future in Taijuan Walker, inking the former Met to a 4-year deal worth $72M. The Phillies’ top four arms for 2023 and beyond are set, but we don’t really know the status of the fifth slot at this moment in time.
Andrew Painter will hold that five spot once his arm is ready to throw consistently at the major league level, but the Phillies are playing it smart with the best prospect this team has ever had, taking it day by day until the 19-year-old is 100% ready.
Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez are the lead guys to hold that five spot at the beginning of the season, but the addition of Hamels could slot them into the bullpen, something this team still needs. Could Cole Hamels be a reliever for the Phillies? Sure, he’s only had one relief appearance in his 15-year MLB career. But he’s 38 years old and hasn’t faced live hitting in two years.
Obviously, nothing is finalized yet, and there’s a good chance nothing will ever be finalized with the Phillies. But the Phillies have 8 million dollars left before hitting the second luxury tax threshold, and if the price is right for Hamels, the no-risk situation of bringing back a 4x All-Star, World Series MVP, and Phillies legend is an absolute no brainer.