Shane Victorino has offered his sales pitch.
Victorino, who played parts of seven seasons with Cole Hamels in Philadelphia, is among those who would love to see the left-hander land with the Boston Red Sox this offseason.
“I’ll take Cole Hamels in a heartbeat as one of our starters,” Victorino recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford by phone. “I know he’s been there. I know what kind of guy he is. I know what kind of pitcher he is. When he takes that ball, he wants to win. He comes across as this nonchalant guy, or laid-back. But when it’s time to go, Cole Hamels is one of the most prepared, hard-working guys I’ve been around.”
Victorino and Hamels were teammates from 2006 to 2012. They won a World Series together in 2008, with Hamels earning MVP honors in the Fall Classic. The Phillies are looking to rebuild after a disappointing 2014 season, and The Flyin’ Hawaiian thinks Hamels could really help the Red Sox with their own bounce-back effort.
“I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to put him in a Red Sox uniform if it’s possible,” Victorino told Bradford. “To me, the biggest thing, being around long enough, if ever I’m in a position to build a winning team, I don’t understand why people fixate on the word, ‘prospect.’ People get fixated on prospects. Well, this guy has all the upside in the world. Has Cole Hamels done it? Yes. So why not go get Cole Hamels at whatever expense is needed.”
The Red Sox already have acquired three starting pitchers this offseason — Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson — and general manager Ben Cherington has expressed confidence in his team’s ability to win in 2015 with the rotation as assembled. Hamels has been the subject of trade rumors for quite a while, though. And the Red Sox have long been at the heart of the chatter, especially in the wake of Jon Lester signing a six-year, $155 million contract with the Chicago Cubs last week.
The Red Sox reportedly are on Hamels’ no-trade list, but it’s reasonable to think the three-time All-Star would accept a trade to Boston if the sides worked out a deal. The drawback of going after Hamels, of course, is that the Red Sox likely would be required to relinquish a few valuable assets, though Victorino doesn’t see that as being a deterrent.
“Do you want to keep some of the farm system? Yes, I understand that. Part of an organization comes from within,” Victorino said. “The (Jon) Lesters, the (Dustin) Pedroias, the (Jonathan) Papelbons — the guys who were brought up through the system, got a few championships, and then unfortunately as times goes on guys move. I agree 100 percent it’s important to have a good minor league system. I agree with that. Some of these prospects who are being thrown around, who knows if they are going to be that guy?”
Victorino is coming off an injury plagued campaign and will be looking to rebound in 2015. His first order of business in helping the Red Sox return to contention is providing a good enough reason for Boston to consider trading for Hamels, whom he’s confident would be a difference-maker in a rotation currently comprised of Porcello, Miley, Masterson, Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly.
Sales pitch noted.
Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images