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Texas Rangers trade rumors: Cole Hamels still on the radar

Jayson Stark writes that the Rangers continue to be a player for Cole Hamels

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers trade rumors:  Cole Hamels has been on the Rangers radar seemingly forever, and Jayson Stark writes that the "aggressive and creative" Rangers are still in the discussion for Hamels, despite being on the fringe of the playoff hunt.

With Hamels under a reasonable contract ($22.5M per year through 2018, a $20 million club option with a $6 million buyout for 2019 that vests at $24 million if he has 200 IP in 2018 and 400 IP in 2017-18) and controlled for a period of time, he's the type of top of the rotation starter the Rangers could pair with Yu Darvish to give them a terrific 1-2 punch in 2016-17, and backed with Derek Holland and Martin Perez, the Rangers rotation could suddenly be a significant strength again if everyone is healthy.

The problem, of course, is cost, and Ken Rosenthal wrote just a couple of days ago that Hamels might not fetch the Phillies what they are hoping to get for him.  That's been a consistent theme for a while, but we know that the Rangers have enticing prospects they can trade, and have had their eye on Hamels for some time.  Dave Cameron goes so far as to say the Rangers are the only team dumb enough to give Philly what they want for Hamels.

I mentioned on Twitter the possibility of a three-way trade with Houston that would seemingly make sense -- Houston giving up Michael Feliz and Brett Phillips for Yovani Gallardo and Mitch Moreland, and then the Rangers sending Phillips, Feliz, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Ryan Cordell, Shin-Soo Choo and $50 million to the Phillies for Hamels.  You can remove Choo and the $50M from the equation if you like, as Choo seems more likely to be dealt in the offseason...but that sort of package I could see working for all the teams involved.

That's just spitballing, of course, and Rosenthal says the Rangers don't want to move Moreland, despite Moreland apparently drawing interest from contenders.  However, Moreland is a free agent after 2016, and the team has a lot of lefthanded hitting 1B/COF/DH types, so if someone is willing to pay a premium for Moreland now, I think the Rangers would have to strongly consider a deal.