With the Rangers mentioned as a potential suitor for just about every Tom, Dick and Harry that may or may not be on the block, we’re going to start breaking down some of the primary players involved.
Why not start with the big fish!
Colbert Michael “Hollywood” Hamels
Hamels is the top pitcher on the trade market in my opinion with the Brewers’ Zack Greinke a close second. The Phillies are currently making a last-ditch effort to lock the 28 year-old southpaw up long-term with a rumored offer of around 5-6 years at $100-120 million overall. However, most believe that if a long-term agreement is not reached, the Phillies will be eager to trade Hamels away and get something for him, given the unknowns of the open market in free agency and the current standing of the team in the NL East (14 games back).
Hamels debuted in 2006 for the Phillies after being a highly-touted prospect in their farm system since joining the organization as a 1st round draft pick in 2002. Currently in his 7th year at the major league level, Hamels is a 3 time All-Star who has finished in the top 6 of the NL Cy Young voting twice in his career (6th in 2007 and 5th last year).
|162 Game Avg.||15||10||3.36||34||2||220||195||27||55||208||125||1.136||3.78|
- Looking at similar players, Hamels compares well with Jered Weaver, and at the age of 28, should still have many of his best years still ahead of him.
- He currently has a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.6 on the season, which puts him right outside of the top 10 in MLB. For reference, Matt Harrison has a 4.1 WAR on the season.
- His 11 wins on the season is even more impressive, considering the Phillies poor record on the season of 40-51.
- His 125 K’s on the season is just 15 back of MLB leader Felix Hernandez, good for 6th overall.
- His K/BB ratio (4.167) ranks him 10th in MLB…the MLB leader is our very own Colby Lewis at 7.5.
- He’s making $15M this season…not too shabby.
Could Cole be a Ranger?
I’ve long been of the belief that the Rangers would make a hard push for Hamels in free agency after the season. It never entered my mind that he would be on the block at this point in the season, based on the assumption that the Phillies would have been more competitive this season and need to retain his services – long-term contract or not.
As far as what it would take from the Rangers to land Hamels…word is that the Phillies initial asking price is pretty steep as they are looking for 4-5 top prospects in return for Hamels. Let’s keep in mind that Hamels is only under contract through the end of this season, so assuming a long-term agreement isn’t reached with whoever trades for his services, he’s potentially nothing more than a 3 month rental.
All indications point towards the primary player in return being Mike Olt, then fill in from there with a few more prospects.
The deal is similar in magnitude to the Cliff Lee trade from 2010, where Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan were both top 10 prospects in the Rangers organization, so figure it’s going to take something similar to land Hamels.
Lee turned out to be nothing more than a 3 month rental, but I think we can all agree that none of us would go back on that trade now…even if Smoak or Beavan were to improve upon their current performance…2010 was just that magical.
All this said, I’d say there is a very slim chance that the Rangers end up dealing for Hamels due to these reasons:
- The Phillies offer (expected in next day or two) – Hamels could accept the offer if it’s as big as rumored and that would be the end of it.
- Price tag – while I don’t think Olt is untouchable, as many have labeled him as such(and as Ninja JD would like for everyone to believe), I think the Phillies see Olt as just one of the pieces in the trade and the Rangers value him more than that.
- Options – Grienke, Garza, Dempster, etc. A deal for one of these guys may present a better value for the Rangers.
Don’t get me wrong…I love this guy and would like to see him wearing a Rangers uniform, but it just doesn’t seem likely….but neither did Cliff 2 years ago.
We should know about the Phillies offer in the next week to 10 days. If Hamels passes on their offer and officially hits the trading block, it’s going to make the deadline that much more interesting.
Isn’t this fun?