The Time for Cole Hamels is Not Now


In Part 3 of our, “Five Rangers’ Questions in Five Days”, we look at acquiring Cole Hamels.

Q: Can Cole Hamels save the Texas Rangers?

A: Since Yu Darvish was lost for the season, national speculation has the Texas Rangers at the forefront of the Cole Hamels trade market. It makes sense since sans Darvish, the Rangers lack any true ace pitcher. Even if Derek Holland has a fantastic year and proves to the #1 pitcher he’s been claiming to be, he’ll never be the ace Darvish or Cole Hamels is.

Few will argue Cole Hamels is a special talent in baseball. He has a career 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings with a 3.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The dude’s a beast. He’s also not a rental piece about to hit free agency either. Hamels is locked up for 4 years so he may replace Darvish in 2015, but in 2016 he will be joining Darvish, making for quite a potent pair at the top of the rotation.

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In previous

Five Rangers Questions in Five Days

, we looked at the impact of losing Yu Darvish and the trickledown effect throughout the roster. The first four pitchers in the starting rotation went from




seemingly overnight. The addition of a pitcher like Hamels would boost that up to


once again and move to


status in 2016. So pull the trigger, right?

Not so fast. Cole Hamels is 31 years old and due at least $20M every year over the next 4. That’s a lot of money and severely limits the Rangers financially throughout the duration. But hey, that’s just other people’s money, so let’s look at what it would cost the Rangers in the trade itself.

A lot.

The Phillies are asking for three top prospects in return for their ace pitcher. We’re talking Joey Gallo/ Chi Chi Gonzalez quality. At this point I believe the Rangers are fully committed to keeping Joey Gallo at all costs, but would they/you be willing to give up Chi Chi plus 2 more? Gonzalez has looked amazing and possess qualities that may make him an ace in the near future.

What happens if the Rangers pull off the trade, sending a couple top prospects, but struggle anyway, even missing the postseason? This is a very realistic outcome that needs to be considered as well. The problem is after the disastrous injury-plagued 2014 season, the Rangers just don’t know what they have here in 2015.

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The likeliest of options is the Rangers will wait and see what they have. Mid-summer they should get an injection to the rotation with the addition of Martin Perez. The Rangers would hate to invest big in a pitcher when they aren’t even sure what they have for a team. If the Rangers are surging late summer, then Hamels would make sense for a big playoff push, but few project the Rangers to be surging at any point this season.

Cole Hamels is an idea and he’s certainly on the table, but the price is high and the Rangers will likely have the patience to see how things shake out before pulling the trigger.

Next: Can Rangers Win without Yu?

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