The 2017 season didn’t go perfect for the Texas Rangers, but now it’s time to look towards next season. Should the Rangers use veteran lefty Cole Hamels as trade bait to bring in young controllable pitching?
The biggest concern for the Texas Rangers right now is finding consistent starting pitching. The organization has two of their five starters eligible for free agency. The fifth starter Nick Martinez shouldn’t even be locked into the rotation.
Basically at the end of the day, the Rangers have Cole Hamels and lefty Martin Perez as likely their only starters heading into 2018. Neither pitcher had a strong season, but both pitched better in the second half of the season.
This off-season the Rangers could potentially be looking for three starting pitchers. That’s a lot of holes to fill especially when the organization needs to add depth elsewhere as well. Could Texas consider moving Cole Hamels in an attempt to bring in young MLB ready talent?
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This season Hamels went 11-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 24 starts with Texas. He finished with a 2.7 WAR which isn’t horrible, but the Rangers expect more from an ace starter. It’s unlikely the Rangers are in win-now mode and could move Hamels for future pieces.
The 33-year-old Hamels is signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019. He could be an interesting trade piece for an organization that wants to make a World Series run the next couple of years.
The Rangers don’t have the depth and farm system ready to fill out the rotation. They will need to fix it via trade or free agency this winter. It could very well be fixed without trading Hamels, but that option should at least be on the table for Texas this off-season.