Thursday November 13th, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels has expressed interest in a trade from the team, but remains neutral on a potential move, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Wednesday.

The pitcher signed a six-year, $144 million contract extension four years ago, but has grown frustrated with the team's lack of competitiveness in recent years, Nightengale writes. Hamels would prefer to make a new deal prior to the 2015 season, but is reluctant to publicly demand a trade or share his displeasure with the team's direction. 

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Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Hamels has not come down definitively on either side of the matter, but remains committed to the deal he signed with Philadelphia.

"He was neutral when I talked to him," Amaro Jr. said. "Happy to go. I think he wants to win, but he signed his contract, and he plans on honoring the contract, obviously.''

Hamels, who will turn 31 in December, pitched 204.2 innings during the 2014 season, posting a 2.46 ERA with 198 strikeouts. He earned a 9-9 record on a team that went 73-89.

Many teams have expressed interest in Hamels, but have yet to take any action because any deal with Philadelphia would likely require giving up minor-league prospects.

Hamels has four years and $96 million remaining on his current contract; his deal also features a "no-trade" clause that includes 13 of the 15 teams in the American League and 20 teams overall. 

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According to Nightengale, the Phillies are likely hopeful that this year's notable free agent pitchers -- Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields -- sign with the teams on Hamels' no-trade list, which would compel other teams to reconsider trading for Hamels.

"It's no secret that the free agent market will kind of dictate where this thing goes, I think," Amaro added. "But at some point the dominoes will start to fall and then we'll see where it takes us."

- Brad Rowland

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