The veteran free agent spent the first nine-and-a-half seasons of his career in Philadelphia and wants to play for a contender in 2020. The Phillies are hunting for starting pitching and are still positioned to do well despite an unsuccessful 2019 campaign. The pairing seems like an obvious fit.
"I know Philly is finally trying to make that push," Hamels told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com this week. "They're building their roster. If I fit on their roster and their plans, I'd love the opportunity to come back.
"It's probably more on their end, though, to reach out and see if I actually do fit in their plans. It would be difficult for me to say, 'Hey, I want to play there, can you guys make it happen?' But I'm always willing to play for that team and city and attempt to win a World Series. That's where I am right now. I just want to have the opportunity to get to the postseason, just so that I can try to win."
Hamels' interest in Philadelphia comes as no surprise. He mentioned that he'd consider a return last May and he still lives in the area.
Meanwhile, the Phillies' rotation was a weak spot in 2019. It ranked 17th in ERA, 24th in FIP, and was only worth 7.6 WAR, according to FanGraphs.
Hamels proved to still be effective last season, as he posted his highest K/9 (9.1) since 2015 alongside a 3.81 ERA. Signing the southpaw also wouldn't require draft-pick compensation, since the Chicago Cubs didn't extend him a qualifying offer, and Hamels is willing to agree to a short-term deal.
"I'm not there to handcuff somebody or an organization," he explained. "That's what the younger guys can do. I can do one year here and there and just play as long as I can play. I think that's what will help give me an opportunity to play on teams that are trying to go to the postseason. If you need one guy, I can just kind of bounce around. Obviously, if the Phillies were interested in longer than one, I'd entertain that, too. But I think I want the opportunity to have as many opportunities to get to the postseason and try to win.
"I'll go every year. I'll prove myself. I don't mind having my back against the wall. I think I perform better like that anyway. It just keeps me more accountable."