By Michael McCarthy

As the 18-wheel truck carrying all the Phillies’ equipment dead-heads through the night and day toward Clearwater, there is news to report on the Phillies’ effort, such as it is, to trade their top chip, lefty ace Cole Hamels.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has the best contacts in the majors and his notes column reported today that:

Cole Hamels, LHP, Phillies — General manager Ruben Amaro said last week that four teams had made offers for Hamels. One of them, according to a major league source, was the Red Sox. But what we’ve been able to piece together through various sources is that the package Boston offered was heavy on the major league side, trying to avoid giving up any of their top prospects. Suffice it to say, that won’t get you Hamels. The Phillies are insistent on prospects, and if they don’t get them now they’ll wait until the trade deadline when there might be more desperation by teams seeking to win.

The Cardinals, Rangers, and Dodgers have also been connected to Hamels, who posted a terrific 2.46 ERA (1.51 ERA+) and 8.7 K/9 in 204 2/3 innings last season for Philly. He is under contract for the next four years — at $96 million — so the rebuilding Phillies can be patient with this trade. Reports have suggested they want multiple top youngsters.

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