May 19, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
2. Johnny Cueto
Along with Hamels, Cueto is at the top of list for many teams this July. With the additional wild card team, there are more buyers and the Rangers should be in that mix. For the season, Cueto has a 5-5 record with 2.84 ERA in 104.2 innings. Cueto had a 1-1 record in June, with a 2.87 ERA in 31.1 innings.
Cueto has also been pitching well lately and has been doing so for a struggling team. Cueto’s stock is rising as he has been pitching well lately and will be a good option for a team looking to make a run. Cueto has also only pitched at the Rangers stadium just once in his career, back in 2013. He gave up one run in the first inning and was pulled for an injury. He has a career 4-7 record against the rest of the American League West.
In terms of his contract, Cueto is owed only what remains of his 2015 contract and then will become a free agent. He will likely sign a big contract as the free agent, a deal that may be difficult for the Rangers to make. This could be appealing to the Rangers as they would not be committed to a lot of money for the next several years.
The players that the team will need to use in a trade will likely remain the same as what it would take to get Hamels. There will be a big market for Cueto with a possibility he may be cheaper than Hamels due to being a rental. While Cueto is a great pitcher, he may not be traded until teams are certain where Hamels will go and then will all be after Cueto.
Next: Other Options