Spring injuries will create trade market for Phillies’ Cole Hamels

I asked a Phillies executive Thursday if he was frustrated that the team had not received an acceptable trade offer for left-hander Cole Hamels.

“Patience,” the executive said.

The unspoken message: Injuries will occur once camps open, creating fresh opportunities for trades.

Heck, injuries already are occurring, and most teams are a week or more away from starting formal workouts in Florida and Arizona.

Consider this list of players who have gone down since Jan. 1, and their team-announced prognoses:

* Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth, shoulder surgery Jan. 9, out 2 to 3 months.

* Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton, shoulder surgery Feb. 11, out 6 to 8 weeks.

* Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, hamstring strain Monday, out 4 to 6 weeks.

* Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, knee surgery Tuesday, out 4 to 6 weeks.

* Braves reliever Shae Simmons, Tommy John surgery Thursday, out for the season.

So what happens when players start actually picking up bats and balls in earnest?

The same thing that happens every spring, of course: more injuries.

I wrote earlier this week that the start of the Phillies’ camp will be painfully awkward as players such as Hamels, left-hander Cliff Lee and closer Jonathan Papelbon face questions about their uncertain futures with the club.

Well, the Phils will look back on that awkward period as a mere blip if they get the deal they want for Hamels, preferably before Opening Day.