Phillies Rumors: Rangers ‘Front-Runner’ for Cole Hamels


The Phillies are closing in on having to make a decision on Cole Hamels. 

One day after Cole Hamels tossed his first career no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, the Kansas City Royals reportedly are set to acquire Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds. The Royals weren’t considered a serious contender for Hamels, but it should be interesting to see how this trade affects Hamels’ market.

In a related note, five days before the leagues non-waiver trade deadline, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that the Texas Rangers are the favorite among numerous potential Hamels suitors.

"The Phillies have been receptive to picking up some of the money in exchange for better talent in return. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Rangers (who appear to be the front-runners) could be in on Hamels."

Other reports have suggested that the Los Angeles Dodgers, not the Rangers, were the favorite for Hamels. However, the Rangers have an impressive farm system, the financial means to take on a good amount of Hamels’ deal and Hamels can’t block a deal if traded there, so this makes sense.

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The Cardinals are also an interesting idea as well. They haven’t been connected to Hamels much, mainly because they have a rotation of arms that doesn’t feature one ERA above 3.20. So Hamels would be more of a luxury get than anything. He would replace Adam Wainwright as the team’s big-name ace, though it’s hard to imagine them offering enough to land Hamels given the fact that they don’t really seem to need him.

The Blue Jays, for quite some time, have been lumped in with the Houston Astros as one of the teams that Hamels would use his partial no-trade clause to block a deal to. Toronto is a beautiful city, and the Jays are just 5.5 games out in a very winnable AL East, so it should be interesting to see if he actually would follow through on staying in Philadelphia rather than joining a contender.

The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are also among the teams expected to varying levels of interest in Hamels before next Friday’s trade deadline. It’s unclear if Hamels is going to be traded — largely because no one has been able to meet the Phillies’ asking price so far — but if he doesn’t get dealt it certainly won’t be because of a lack of interest around the league.

Update: FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi adds this in.

Update: Jayson Stark confirmed the Rangers reported interest in Hamels and also lumped in the Dodgers as ‘frontrunners’ for the left-hander’s service.

"“The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged over the weekend as the likely favorites to trade for Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels, multiple sources said.The Phillies also continue to discuss Hamels with at least four other teams — theChicago Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, a source said. However, those teams are said to have had more trouble matching up on a potential deal than the Dodgers or Rangers…The Rangers and Dodgers both had scouts in attendance at Hamels’ no-hitter, as did the Yankees, Giants,Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jaysand several other clubs. But other than Texas and Los Angeles, those teams were described as doing their “due diligence” in monitoring the market for the 31-year-old left-hander.Both the Rangers and Dodgers view Hamels as an attractive alternative to this winter’s deep class of free-agent aces, because he is under contract for three more years after this season and has a team or vesting option for a fourth season. The guaranteed portion of his contract runs through only his age-34 season — whereas a group of free agents in or approaching their 30s, such as David Price,Johnny Cueto and Zack Greinke (assuming he opts out), will be looking for deals that take them into their late 30s.”"

The market for a pitcher of Hamels’ caliber should come into focus over the next 24-48 hours. Depending on whether the Tigers make David Price available, Hamels could be the premiere starter on the market.

Next: Phillies, Nationals Have Reportedly Discussed Jonathan Papelbon