With future uncertain, Hamels keeps open mind

Amid rumors, southpaw discloses interest in possibly joining contender

With future uncertain, Hamels keeps open mind

PHILADELPHIA -- Is Cole Hamels the next Phillies player to be traded?

Jimmy Rollins is headed to the Dodgers, if the Padres and Dodgers ever announce the Matt Kemp deal. The Dodgers are sending Kemp to the Padres, who are sending players back to Los Angeles. One of those players -- Minor League right-hander Zach Eflin -- is headed to the Phillies as part of the Rollins trade.

Those announcements could come Thursday.

Hamels would not mind following Rollins to a winner, considering the circumstances. He has said repeatedly he wants to win while he is pitching in his prime, and with the Phillies rebuilding and saying they might not compete for at least a few years, it seems Hamels' prime years will be wasted on a losing team.

"As close as I would like would be to go to a team that wants to win," Hamels said this week on MLB Network Radio. "You're playing for the end of October. You're not playing for the end of September so you can go home."

His comments are similar to what Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. relayed in November, when asked if Hamels wants to remain in Philadelphia.

"He was neutral when I talked to him," Amaro said. "Happy to go. I think he wants to win, but he signed his contract and he plans on honoring the contract, obviously, and that's great."

Hamels is easily the most attractive trade chip the Phillies have this offseason. He is an ace in his prime. He is owed $96 million over the next four seasons, which includes a $6 million buyout on a 2019 club option.

The contract increases to five years and $110 million if the option vests.

There had been speculation the Dodgers were going to make a hard push for Hamels, but with Kemp no longer in Los Angeles they seem unlikely to trade outfield prospect Joc Pederson, who is somebody the Phillies would like to have. The Red Sox have a slew of prospects and they are still looking for an ace. They remain a possibility.

The Giants are another team that has expressed interest in Hamels.

"The Phillies are going to do what they have to do and I'll just be wherever I have to be," Hamels said. "I play to win and that's what I can expect."

Hamels has a partial no-trade clause, so he has some control over where he goes. He was asked if geography or league could influence his decision to leave Philadelphia. He initially said yes, but then concluded he just wants to play for a winning team.

"We've built our home here," Hamels said about Philadelphia. "The kids go to school here. We have a great neighborhood. We absolutely love it. We've gotten used to navigating the suburbs of Philadelphia. It's become something great. But my family is from the West Coast. My wife's family is from the Midwest. ... But whatever city is going after winning, I think that could definitely change every sort of perspective and every desire because that trumps almost anything is winning."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.