Phillies could move Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels had a 2.46 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP this past season in Philadelphia. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

This is called lowering the bar: Interim team president Pat Gillick says the Philadelphia Phillies are not likely to contend in the next two seasons.

From his interview with CSN Philly:

"I think where we are right now, it's probably a couple years," Gillick told CSN's John Clark in a one-on-one interview Thursday. "I wouldn't think [2015] or [2016], I don't think is in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018."

Whether he meant to do this or not -- and Gillick is a really, really smart person -- his words prepare the Phillies’ fan base for a possible deal of star pitcher Cole Hamels.

Look, if the Phillies’ baseball operations department doesn’t believe that the team is going to contend in the next two seasons, then now is the time to trade the left-hander. Hamels, who turns 31 in December, is guaranteed $90 million for the next four years, with a vesting option for the 2019 season, and if the Phillies follow the timeline laid out by Gillick, then Hamels will be in the last seasons of his deal and in his mid-30s when the club becomes relevant again.

Given the landscape of the pitching market right now, and considering how great Hamels threw in 2014 -- a career-low 2.46 ERA in 30 starts -- his trade value will never be higher than it is right now, and the Phillies could flip him for a really good package of prospects that could help Philadelphia move forward.