ESPN's Buster Olney joined Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes on 97.5 The Fanatic to discuss all things Phillies this afternoon, which of course means Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Not Ryan Howard though, who Ruben Amaro had banished to another dimension on a rehab assignment.
On Halladay, Olney could only speculate like the rest of us on what's wrong. He remarked that it's not uncommon for Major League pitchers to experience general wear and tear throughout their careers, adding Doc will likely try to work through whatever it is. That said, if you were to boil down the interview to one line, it's not something that would instill confidence.
"The Phillies probably have no idea what they're going to get out of [Halladay] the rest of the year."
Halladay is scheduled to visit a medical doctor today (important distinction), so we should know something more and concrete in the coming days. That said, some time off for Halladay is starting to look inevitable, and who knows how long until he can get back on track.
Olney also touched on the status of negotiations between the Phillies and Hamels, and while there is still plenty of time to talk, King Cole seems to have all the leverage.
"When you're in the position [Hamels is] in now, where he's only four months from free agency, the only thing that his side needs to say to the Phillies is, 'Look, you can give him a C.C. Sabathia contract of 7 years and $161 million, or forget it, because he's gonna get the top of the market in the Fall."
Olney doesn't think Hamels will actually get a Sabathia deal, but noted he will be far and away the best pitcher on the market when free agency opens. It sounds like the Fightins are really going to have to wow Hamels if they want to have any chance of keeping him off the market, especially with the season he's having.
The interview also touches on whether Roy Oswalt could be in the picture, and what kind of return the Phils can expect for their coveted players should the team become sellers before the trade deadline.