Cole Hamels to the Red Sox? Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe - owned by John Henry, let's not forget - reports that the Sox have been scouting the Phillies' lefthander. Perhaps as an alternative to giving Jon Lester a long-term, $100-million-plus deal.
On Felger & Mazz on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Michael Felger wonders about the ulterior motives for the Sox getting involved with Cole Hamels, who after this season has four years and $90 million left on his deal.
First, he's thinking that pitching-desperate Yankees are interested in Hamels and the Sox are trying to block them or drive up the price, via trade.
Second? "It could be a leverage play against Jon Lester," Felger said.
Tony Massarotti's repsonse: "If it is a leverage play and I'm Jon Lester? [I say] Great. Go get Cole Hamels. I'm goinn to the Yankees."
"Are you in the camp that Lester's kind of been dinked around the Red Sox?" Felger asked Mazz. "They come in so low to start [reportedly four years for $70 million]. And as soon as he won't re-open negotiations, they go to this guy [Hamels]. This is sort of a rough approach to negotiations to a guy who has meant a lot to the Red Sox."
Said Mazz: "Mike, he was the first pick of this ownership group. No one has played for this ownership and this organization longer than Jon Lester. They tried to play hardball in spring training. That's how [Red Sox CEO] Larry [Lucchino] does it. Then, the team sucked and Lester pitched great. Now, the whole thing is flipped... Now, they're trying leverage Lester into a deal. I look at this stuff as a desperate attempt to try and bring down the price a little on Jon Lester."