The Padres are supposedly the front-runners for Cole Hamels, but with the Phillies asking for the entire farm and a lifetime supply of Hodad's burgers, it doesn't seem likely to happen. So who else is available to bolster the rotation?
Oh. I guess when you get yourselves a Max Scherzer, Strassy seems like yesterday's news. With two years left on his contract at a third of Hamels's price, he offers a lot more payroll flexibility. And, as an Aztec for Life who was never a terrible enough person to root for the Dodgers, he has a lot more fan appeal.
So what's the downside? Well, Strasburg just isn't as good (so far). Last year he put up a career-best 3.5 bWAR. The last time Hamels was worth less than that was 2009. In 2014, he was good for a whopping 6.6 bWAR. If you're keeping track, that made him the second most valuable pitcher in the National League last year. And Hamels has one other thing going for him: He's a lefty, and the only southpaw starters currently on the Padres are Robbie Erlin and Cory Luebke. So if A.J. Preller goes after Strasburg, he's crazy enough to run out a rotation without a lefty.
Still, it is fun to think about Strasburg coming home.