Cole Hamels has reportedly agreed to a six year, $144 million contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies that includes a vesting option for a seventh year that could make the entire deal worth more than $160 million. The deal is supposed to be announced at 11 a.m. Central time today.
With Hamels, who was reportedly the Rangers' top trade target, off the market, the Rangers are likely limited to Zack Greinke, Josh Johnson, and perhaps Matt Garza as potential acquisitions, with Johnson reportedly now the Rangers' top priority.
Texas has been after the 28 year old Johnson for a while, reportedly making a strong offer for him at the 2010 trade deadline. Johnson has great stuff but has also had significant problems staying healthy...he had Tommy John surgery several years ago, was shut down at the end of the 2010 season with shoulder problems, and missed most of the 2011 season.
The other concerning thing about Johnson is that, while his peripherals have been strong this year, his ERA is 4.14, good for only a 99 ERA+. FanGraphs notes that Johnson's BABIP being elevated, particularly with runners in scoring position, is to blame, though they also note that Johnson's offspeed pitches have been less effective while pitching out of the stretch, meaning that the bad strand rate may not be just a matter of bad luck or bad defense.