Red Sox, Phillies weren't a good match on Cole Hamels


BOSTON -- A source late Wednesday night revealed the Red Sox never got far in trade talks over Cole Hamels, mostly because the Sox were one of the teams to whom Hamels could block a deal.

Whether Hamels would have changed his mind had the Red Sox agreed to pick up the option for 2019 was moot, since, according to the same source, talks never got to that point.

The implication was clear: The Phillies, holding one of the most desired trade chips, didn't want to bother having talks with teams on Hamels' no-trade list when there were nine other clubs to whom he would could go -- including prospect-rich teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers and Rangers, where he ultimately landed.

Did the Red Sox have the package of prospects that would have enticed the Phils? Probably, though it's difficult -- if not impossible -- to get direct comps to the four prospects Texas sent to Philadelphia.

The catcher the Phils got, Jorge Alfaro, is not as highly regarded as Blake Swihart. Jerad Eickhoff's comp might be Brian Johnson, while Jake Thompson's equivalent is hard to find in the Red Sox organization.

What's meaningful is this: The Rangers held on to their two best prospects, third baseman Joey Gallo and and catcher Nomar Mazara. That would mean the Red Sox may have been able to do the deal without including Swihart and Manuel Margot.

In the end, it was academic. The no-trade designation was enough to scare off the Phils and focus on organizations with whom they could deal without worrying that Hamels would scuttle a trade at the 11th hour.

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