The Phillies dropped a bomb on the trade market when they recently began making calls to see about trade interest in Cole Hamels, has learned.

Hamels is a free agent after the year, and a source with knowledge of his contractual situation said there has been no progress made in contract talks.

The Phillies are struggling through an injury-riddled first half. They traded Jim Thome to the Orioles on Saturday, but the team suggested that didn't mark the end of the sell-off.

The Phillies may just be gauging early interest in Hamels or getting talks started in case their struggles continue. Chase Utley recently returned from injury, and they are awaiting returns for two more stars, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay. It's hard to imagine them giving up contending this early, so it's very likely they are laying the groundwork for the possibility of a trade before the July 31 trade deadline.