No one can really be blamed for making a play for a great pitcher like Phillies star left-hander Cole Hamels. But in the case of the Red Sox, who have shown interest in Hamels according to the Boston Globe and others, it's maybe just a littler bit harder to understand. Boston offered its own star lefty Jon Lester $70M over four years in spring training. Now suddenly, they'd be willing to take what's left of Hamels' $144-million, six-year deal, and give up prime prospects, too, for a very comparable pitcher? It's true Hamels has only about $106 million left on his deal through 2018. But that's still significantly more than the Red Sox offered Lester. And they'd have to surrender cherished young players to acquire Hamels, to boot. Of course, the Red Sox saw the $70M mention as more of a negotiation conversation starter (though ironically, it seems to have been a conversation ender). And word from people familiar with their thinking is that they were willing to go to $100M for five years before Lester told them a few weeks ago that he'd like to table contract talks for now so as not to distract his teammates, and maybe himself too. And of course, it's also possible the Red Sox are at least partly viewing the reported Hamels play as a way to restart things with Lester -- who's said all along he wants to stay in Boston badly enough to give them a hometown discount. And maybe the Red Sox are just concerned they might not get Lester back now that he's tabled talks, and are just covering their bases. And maybe the Red Sox would like to have both Lester and Hamels. But that still begs the question as to why they might like to absorb a contract that is twice as high as their starting point with Lester.
The curious case of Boston's reported interest in Cole Hamels
CBS Sports | Jul 20