TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t asked about Cole Hamels “in months” after getting the sense during the winter that the Philadelphia Phillies ace wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause, according to a source.
That revelation comes after Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported Friday that the Blue Jays are concentrating on significant player acquisitions amid a rough first quarter and inquired about the left-hander, but were told he won’t head north.
The Blue Jays are believed to have checked in on Hamels during the GM meetings in November. They’ve also repeatedly been linked to Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, whom they’ve shown no signs of pursuing.
Hamels is the type of impact starter the Blue Jays would love to add, although it’s unclear if they have sufficient prospect capital to pull off such a transaction.
GM Alex Anthopoulos is unlikely to subtract from his current roster to add immediate help, while top prospects like Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman are viewed as crucial to the club’s plans in coming years.
The Blue Jays are believed to have $5-$8 million in available payroll.