7/30/2014 3:10 P.M. ET
Cards likely not looking at Phils' arms before Deadline
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Phillies seem to have temporarily lost another trade partner.
The Cardinals acquired Justin Masterson from the Indians on Wednesday, which fills a starting pitching need. He is 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had told reporters Tuesday that Saturday's starter in Milwaukee could come from outside the organization. Masterson is that guy.
The Phillies reportedly had a scout Tuesday at Triple-A Memphis, which is the Cardinals' top affiliate. Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett have been available. Lee is unlikely to be moved before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline because he has struggled in two starts since returning from the disabled list. Burnett seemed like a fit for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals could revisit Lee or Burnett in August, with both expected to clear waivers.
Hamels unlikely to be dealt prior to Deadline
NEW YORK -- Do not expect Cole Hamels to be traded before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
There have been numerous reports recently about his availability, but sources told MLB.com that the Phillies have had no substantive talks with any team about their ace. That includes the Dodgers. There have been multiple reports that the Dodgers and Phillies have been in contact recently about a deal, and that Philadelphia even requested Los Angeles' top three prospects to make it happen.
But one source said the Phillies have made no such requests, because the two teams have not talked in depth.
The Phillies have made teams aware they would need to be thoroughly impressed to trade Hamels, but talks have never gotten much further than that. Hamels allowed six hits and struck out eight in eight scoreless innings Tuesday night against the Mets to improve to 6-5 with a 2.55 ERA. He has a 1.58 ERA (15 earned runs in 85 2/3 innings) in his last 12 starts, entering Wednesday sixth out of 95 qualifying pitchers in ERA since June 1.
A source said the Phillies haven't gotten particularly close to the finish line in any trade discussions. They have numerous players available, including Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Marlon Byrd, A.J. Burnett and Antonio Bastardo, but some teams believe Ruben Amaro Jr. is under pressure to deal and ultimately will sell low to make a trade. They seem to be waiting for Amaro to cave.
But ownership has not ordered Amaro to shed payroll, which does not force his hand. Players such as Hamels, Lee, Papelbon, Byrd and other veterans are signed through at least next season, which means Amaro can try to clear them through waivers next month and trade them before the Aug. 31 waiver Deadline.
The Phillies can also wait to try to trade them in the offseason, and it seems the team is prepared for that possibility.
It looks like nobody is going anywhere right now, although everything can change with one phone call before Thursday's Deadline.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.