<
>

Phillies want 'best' offers for Cole Hamels by Wednesday

Play0:35
Is Hamels the next big name to be dealt?

Tim Kurkjian believes Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels will be dealt before Friday and will be the biggest name traded.

The Philadelphia Phillies have told several teams interested in acquiring Cole Hamels that they'd like to get their "best" offers by Wednesday, sources told ESPN.com.

The team would then make a decision about where -- and whether -- to trade him.

The Phillies have continued to speak with a large number of teams -- a group known to include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox -- about Hamels.

However, sources said that in the case of about half of that group, the Phillies initiated those talks in an attempt to reopen discussion about players whom those clubs had said previously they'd be unwilling to trade.

Sources have confirmed that the Astros have made a late push to acquire Hamels since the Phillies ace pitched a no-hitter last Saturday. However, Hamels can block a trade to Houston, and the Astros have been given no assurance in recent days that that stance has changed.

The Giants, who scouted Hamels' no-hitter, also continue to talk to the Phillies, but they still appear to be having a hard time meeting the Phillies' asking price. One source's description of those talks Tuesday morning consisted of two words: "Nothing happening."

Clubs speaking to the Phillies believe they have reached the stage where they're attempting to "work through" all their options with ownership and are "trying to decide what they want to do," according to sources. However, those teams believe the Phillies intend to deal their ace before Friday's 4 p.m. ET trading deadline unless they decide none of the offers brings them enough in return, whereupon they would resume trying to trade him in the offseason.

Hamels' next start is scheduled for Thursday against the Braves, the night before the deadline. If he is traded before he makes that start, he would be the first pitcher since 1900 to throw a no-hitter and then make his next start that season for another team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.