Chicago claimed Hamels on revocable waivers, as Mike Missanelli of 97.5 the Fanatic originally reported, but while the Cubs are intent on adding a No. 1 type pitcher to go with their great young positional talent, they are said to prefer the free-agent route due to their preference not to surrender big-time prospects while paying a big salary as well.
Hamels has more than four years left on his $144 million, six-year Phillies deal. FoxSports.com reported that Hamels was claimed Wednesday, so the 48-hour window to complete a trade would close Friday.
The Cubs acquired top shortstop prospect Addison Russell for Jeff Samardzija, for instance, and prefer not to turn around and trade Russell in a big package for a different top pitcher. It's understandable why Philly would request top young players back for Hamels, as he is by far their most valuable veteran piece. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times first suggested that is the type of return Philly seeks.
Chicago is expected to be aggressive this winter or next in efforts to sign an ace, and Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, who is familiar to Cubs higherups from their Red Sox days, will be free agents after this season.
The Phillies were able to make a waiver trade already, sending veteran pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for two players to be named later.