Phillies' Hamels can veto trade to Red Sox

In a piece posted today, ESPN Insider Buster OlneyInsider casts doubt on whether Phillies lefty Cole Hamels would accept a trade to the American League on the basis of an old Greg Maddux adage -- why pitch in the AL when you can do so with much less stress in the NL?

Hamels, whom the Phillies are shopping this offseason and whom is due four years and $90 million on his current contract, has the ability to steer the trade conversation by virtue of his partial no-trade clause. Among the teams to which he can veto a trade is the Red Sox, Olney reports.

More from Olney on the challenge of bringing Hamels to the AL:

“Hamels could be particularly attractive to the Red Sox because unlike Jon Lester, he’s already under contract for a manageable $90 million over the next four years -- close to what Boston offered Lester last spring. The Red Sox are philosophically opposed to the idea of doling out really long-term contracts for pitchers, and trading for Hamels would be a way for them to thread the needle on the risk.

“The Red Sox could sweeten the pot with Hamels by agreeing to pick up a $20 million option for 2019, when Hamels will be 35 years old.

“But if Hamels simply prefers to stay in the National League, well, then there’s really nothing the Red Sox or Phillies can do to make a trade happen.

“Remember, Hamels already has made about $80 million in his career, and he’s guaranteed to more than double that. So picking up the option for 2019 isn’t going to have as much allure for him as it would for other players, especially if Hamels wants to avoid the additional stress of the toiling in the AL -- where the lineups are deeper because of the DH, where the hitters are more patient.”