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Hometown Padres a frontrunner for Cole Hamels even though he grew up a Dodger fan

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With the Phillies obviously rebuilding, Jim Duquette on MLB.com lists the Padres as one of the five teams that might trade for Cole Hamels this off-season.  These five teams are only listed as a hunch by Duquette based on what he thinks it would take to get Hamels, so take this article with a heaping spoonful of salt.  There are no actual Padres sources saying they are pursing him.

Cole diggers: 5 frontrunners in Hamels derby | MLB.com

Because of that, and Preller's unpredictable style, the Padres are well positioned to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter and shock the baseball world again. Two of those prospects plus another mid-level prospect would put Preller near the top of the list to acquire Hamels, completing one of the most surprising winters in Padres history.

Duquette theorizes that Hamels probably wouldn't mind returning to his hometown as a player. A little known fact, Hamels was actually signed to a lifetime contract by the Padres when he was an infant.  But back in 2012 Hamels was asked if he'd be open to returning to San Diego by Jon Heyman.  Hamels scoffed at the suggestion and criticized the fan base for only supporting the team in the middle innings.

Later he backtracked and blamed Padres ownership instead of the fans.  It was found out that while he lived in San Diego and rooted for the Padres during the winning years of the late 90's he was a Dodger fan all along.  He even says that he considers the Dodgers his hometown team.  On that alone, I doubt the Padres a favorite for acquiring him.