Teams in the cellar might not want to be sellers

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Twins closer Glen Perkins is now a three-time All-Star. But if his team had followed conventional wisdom, he’d be known in Minnesota as a one-time Twin. As in “One-time Twin Glen Perkins, now with the Diamondbacks (or Dodgers or whomever), was named …”

Perkins is a good example of why, in an era with a lot of year-to-year volatility in the standings, teams who are out of contention should be wary about trading strong pieces at the July deadline. That includes the Phillies, who according to broadcasters and writers have to move Cole Hamels.

Perkins was named to the American League All-Star team Monday for the third straight year. He has 27 saves in 27 chances and a 1.27 ERA for the Twins, who are contending for the first time since 2010. The Twins entered Tuesday’€™s play with a 44-39 record, four games behind Kansas City in the AL Central and in the second wildcard spot.

Back in 2013 when Perkins was tabbed as the Twins’ sole All-Star, he was the most tradable player on a team that went on to lose 96 games. He was in his age 30 season and in the first year of a three-year extension.

What does a team that finishes 27 games out of first need with a good closer?

“Twins getting a lot of calls on Perkins and still will not move him,”™ Boston Globe writer Nick Cardafo tweeted at the deadline in 2013.

Darn, stubborn Twins.

In fact, the Twins extended Perkins in early 2014.

In recent years, the Twins have shown how quickly a team’™s fortunes can change — in both directions. This season they have been a pleasant surprise after finishing last a season ago. In 2011 after a decade of contending, the Twins suddenly and unexpectedly fell apart.

In 2012 the Boston Red Sox finished last in the AL East. In 2013, they won the World Series. In 2014, they were back in last.

The 2014 World Series champion Giants are struggling to stay above .500. The Houston Astros, bottom-feeders two seasons ago, lead the AL Central.

In 2010, the Arizona Diamondbacks were headed for the cellar. They traded ace Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels for Joe Saunders and some prospects. The next year the Diamondbacks won the NL West. Could they have used Haren —€” an upgrade over Saunders €— for a possible run in the postseason? Definitely.

Which brings us to the Phillies and Cole Hamels. By my count we are in the third cycle of Hamels must be traded.

Hamels is in his age 31 season. He is under contract through 2018 at $23.5 million per year, according to Cot Contracts. This season he is 5-6 with a 3.02 ERA and on pace to strike out more than 200 batters. He is expensive but valuable €— and he seems to have miles left.

It makes sense for the Phillies to trade him, but only for a high price.

Prospects with low ceilings are unlikely to cut it and taking on only some of the money won’€™t cut it. The Phillies might want to hold onto him because who knows what 2017 will look like.