Texas Rangers rumors: Cole Hamels is someone the Philadelphia Phillies are willing to move, and have been for some time, according to various reports, but the price the Phillies are asking has been prohibitive for most teams. The Rangers have been interested in Hamels for some time, but haven't wanted to give up the prospects Philly wants.
That being said, per Jon Morosi, the Rangers and Phillies are "having ongoing dialogue" about Hamels, and he will waive his no-trade clause to go to Texas. Morosi goes on to say:
#Rangers expect to have Perez, Harrison, and Holland back in rotation this season, but they view Hamels as elite upgrade worth pursuing.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 23, 2015
So...what does this mean?
Its hard to say. On the one hand, Morosi isn't necessarily reporting anything we don't already know. Its been said for some time that the Rangers have been checking in on Hamels, who they reportedly had planned on targeting as a free agent before he signed his extension with the Phillies. In late April, Jon Heyman was saying that the Rangers and Phillies had been talking, but the Phillies wanted both Nomar Mazara and Jorge Alfaro in a Hamels deal. So this could be just the status quo being rehashed.
On the other hand, if Morosi is indicating that talks are picking up and getting more serious, that would be significant. Hamels is a legit top of the rotation starter who is under contract for $87.5M from 2016-19 (assuming his club option is exercised). Hamels is 31, has pitched at least 200 innings every year since 2008 (except for 2009, when he had 19.32 IP), and has been a 4-7 win pitcher pretty consistently throughout his career.
Any club would want Hamels and his contract. The question, of course, is what you have to give up to get him. If you're trading for Hamels, the Phillies are going to want Nomar Mazara, either Chi Chi Gonzalez or Jake Thompson, plus other pieces. Maybe you could try to sell them on Nick Williams instead of Mazara, and offer them Nick Martinez as well as Thompson, so you can keep Chi Chi in your current rotation. But I have my doubts a Williams/Thompson/Martinez package would get it done, even if you kicked in another lower level piece or two.
No, you're probably looking at a minimum of Mazara, Thompson and Martinez, plus maybe a couple of guys in the lower minors who are in your 20-30 range. And even then, that might not be enough.
Interesting times, these are...