Texas Rangers rumors: Cole Hamels will cost Jorge Alfaro and Nomar Mazara if the Rangers want to land the Philadelphia Phillie lefthander.
That's according to Jon Heyman, who has a piece up at CBS Sports asking why the last place Phillies haven't dealt Hamels yet. Heyman identifies the Rangers as a team whose "need may be greater than anyone" because of all the starting pitching injuries, but that assumes that the Rangers' pitching injuries (and woeful hitting) aren't so bad that even Hamels can't get them back into contention.
Given that the Rangers are at 7-13 to start the season, they've dug themselves a hole that its going to be hard for them to get out of, with or without Hamels. And while there's no doubt the Rangers would like to have Hamels, it seems unlikely they're going to give up lots of talent for him without the team playing a lot better in the very near future.
In any case, Heyman says the Phillies have asked for both Mazara and Alfaro in a Hamels deal. The pair are at AA Frisco, and Alfaro, Mazara and Joey Gallo are the top three position prospects in the system. Its hard to say that that asking price for Hamels is that unreasonable -- he's a legit #1, and if you include his club option for 2019, he's owed $87.5M for 2016-19. That's just $5M more than what Rick Porcello -- not a legit #1 -- will be getting from 2016-19. Hamels is older than Porcello, of course, and you can argue Porcello shouldn't re-calibrate what the starting pitcher market is, but I think it is fair to say that, if Hamels were a free agent he'd get more than what he's owed right now on the open market.
I suspect the Rangers to continue to stay in touch on Hamels, and if the team turns things around and looks like a contender in July, maybe they make a strong push. At this point, though, its looking a lot more likely that the Rangers will be sellers than buyers at mid-season. It also looks like the Rangers need good, young, cheap position players a lot more than than they need Hamels right now.