SAN DIEGO — Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg acknowledged on Tuesday that ace lefthander Cole Hamels could well be traded. But Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will expect a lot back in return.
"There's no way that Ruben's going to just give away a player. I mean, we'd have to be wowed to give up a guy like Cole Hamels, which would be a wow that would help us with the process and go in the direction that we want to go, Sandberg said.
Hamels's no-trade list includes the Red Sox. But that obstacle could be lifted if the Red Sox were to pick up the $20 million option he has for 2019.
Obtaining a player of Hamels's stature might require the Red Sox trading several of their top prospects.
The Phillies, like many teams, are enamored with second baseman/outfielder Mookie Betts. But the Red Sox see him as their leadoff hitter and, if not untouchable, close to it.
"I'm just waiting to see through this process to see what comes about. Whether Ruben gets wowed or not is yet to be seen," Sandberg said.
Hamels was 9-9 with a 2.46 earned run average last season. One concern is Hamels's 4.54 ERA in 29 career starts against American League teams.
Red Sox righthander Joe Kelly has not played with Jon Lester. But he took to Twitter to make a playful recruiting pitch.
"I double dog dare ya @JLester31 to come back to the Red Sox," Kelly wrote.
Kelly was traded to the Red Sox from the Cardinals July 31, the same day Lester was traded to the Oakland Athletics. Kelly was 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 10 starts for the Sox and projects as the No. 4 starter next season.
The plea apparently went unanswered as news broke early Wednesday morning that Lester had agreed to sign with the Chicago Cubs for a six-year, $155 million contract.
General manager Ben Cherington confirmed that the Red Sox have rehired former major league pitcher and now sports psychologist Bob Tewksbury.
Tewksbury was with the Sox for nine seasons as their mental skills coach before taking a position with the MLB Players Association. Cherington said his new role would be similar.
Tewksbury was with the Sox nearly every day during the 2013 season. The New Hampshire native pitched parts of 13 seasons in the majors, winning 110 games. He has a Master's degree in sports psychology and counseling from Boston University.
Spring sales are up
The Red Sox sold 34,461 tickets for spring training home games during the first weekend of sales. In all, 49,000 tickets have been sold counting season tickets. The Red Sox said the increase is attributable to an additional home game on the schedule and early renewals of season tickets. Twelve of the 17 games are sold out or have limited availability . . . Topps named the Red Sox their Organization of the Year. The award, started in 1966, is given to teams for performance, depth and talent throughout their major league and minor league teams. It was the first time the Red Sox have won.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.