Jayson Stark over at ESPN reported in a column on Monday that the Philadelphia Phillies are entertaining offers for staff ace Cole Hamels, who immediately becomes the top pitcher on the trade market, especially with David Price likely staying in Tampa Bay. 

Stark does go on to indicate that a deal is unlikely due to an astronomical asking price. Apparently, Philadelphia is said to be asking for a minor bounty in return.

While clubs basically look at Hamels as a guy the Phillies clearly don’t want to trade, they remain frustrated that the Phillies don’t factor in all the money that would be assumed when they ask for every team’s top three or four young players.

The idea of any team yielding its top three or four prospects for one pitcher is ridiculous. That doesn’t even factor into account the fact that Philadelphia is willing to pick up only $10 million of Hamel’s remaining contract, which is valued at $20 million a season over the course of the next four years.

Hamels is 5-5 with a 2.82 ERA in 18 starts this season. He boasts a solid 1.15 WHIP and has struck out 125 batters in 122.1 innings. These numbers have ace written all over them, but the asking price is likely too high for any contending team.

There are reportedly some teams interested in Hamels’ services should Philadelphia lower its asking price between now and Thursday.

Both the Cardinals and Dodgers have the prospects to offer Philadelphia in a potential deal. In addition to this, Los Angeles could get a third team to pick up the contract of Matt Kemp in order to send more pieces to the Phillies. Pure conjecture, but that might be the best chance Philadelphia has of trading Hamels prior to the deadline.

Photo: Metro.us