Cardinals Rumors: How Cole Hamels delaying signing impacts St. Louis

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Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on April 07, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on April 07, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The St Louis Cardinals are interested in free-agent pitcher Cole Hamels, but he will not sign soon, according to a report.

When it comes to the St. Louis Cardinals’ trade plans, they are expected to be quiet before the July 30 deadline. They are not in position to be aggressive buyers and thus, will likely only pursue incremental upgrades.

One of those options, free-agent left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, recently held a showcase which the Cardinals attended. But Hamels has yet to receive an offer to his liking and plans to ramp up his throwing routine, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who adds that Hamels’ latest bullpen featured three sets of 25 pitches.

Hamels was already expected to need time to get ready to pitch again on a major-league mound, with some estimates being roughly about a month. But this will only delay that further timeframe as he sits unsigned and is not able to work with teams’ trainers to get himself mound ready, which is less than ideal considering Hamels has only thrown 3.1 innings since 2019 and has battled a plethora of injuries since.

It throws a wrench in the Cardinals’ plans, as Hamels was one of their more realistic targets. Now, with the team needing pitching almost immediately, even with Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas set to return soon, the Cardinals may need to look elsewhere for pitching help in addition to Hamels.

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But the reality is that the Cardinals should have already been looking for other pitching options. The options figure to include Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Anderson, Los Angeles Angels’ Alex Cobb and Andrew Heaney and possibly the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly. The clock is ticking on president of baseball operations John Mozeliak as he figures out who to target and how to approach the deadline. But if he strikes out on the trade market before July 30, Hamels should be waiting for them on the free-agent market in August.

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