Texas Rangers: How Much Longer Will Cole Hamels Be Around?

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 19: Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 19, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 19: Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 19, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers are gearing up for an interesting trade season and Cole Hamels is at forefront of those trade discussions.

The question is not really will the Texas Rangers will trade Cole Hamels at this point. The question is when will they trade him. Hamels has been far and away the Rangers top pitcher this season and has played his way onto the trade block. Considered one of the starting pitchers on the market, Cole Hamels’ value is considered high and Texas will no doubt be looking to cash in by receiving talented prospects.

Where’s the Value?

Hamels has been solid in his last two starts including his one Tuesday against the Royals. Cole went 7 innings strong not allowing an earned run and just four hits. Across the season, Cole has a less than stellar record of 4-6 but his numbers are still quality. Hamels has an ERA that will attract buyers at only 3.41 in 15 starts which is top 15 in the AL. He’s also averaging nearly a strikeout per inning and has a WHIP of just 1.23 which will add some value.

Along with his stats, he actually is on a fairly team friendly contract. Despite being owed $20 million this year according to Sportrac, the Rangers can easily move him by eating a bit of that salary. Hamels also has a club option for 2019 with a $6 million buyout which means teams have some flexibility in using him long-term. Now most teams will probably opt for the buyout considering his option is worth $20 million. Teams know they probably can get Texas to cover this buyout as part of a deal.

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When Will it Happen?

Now to the question of when will the Rangers decide to move Cole Hamels. Although the deadline is still over a month away, Texas may be incentivized to move him earlier than that. If Cole can maintain the form he’s in, the Rangers may try to move him while his stock is on the rise. Now a lot of this is dependent on the market. It’s no question that teams will covet Hamels. He’s a good, left-handed starting pitcher with plenty of postseason experience. However, there is always a peak in market value. Generally it’s in the latter half of July as teams feel ready to commit to their postseason run.

Personally, I expect a deal for Hamels to come sooner rather than later. I could even see him getting moved by the end of the month. Unlike when Texas traded Yu Darvish last year to a heavy favorite, I would expect a team locked into a divisional battle to jump on a deal for Cole Hamels early to lock in his help for 3 full months rather than 2 months at the deadline. The Texas Rangers no doubt have already had conversations with potential trade partners. But what might delay a deal is that the Rangers no doubt will try and trigger a bit of a bidding war between potential suitors.

What’s the Hitch?

This actually won’t be a major deterrent to any deal but will throw an additional hitch in the plans. Cole Hamels does have a partial no-trade clause that would allow him to block a deal to 20 teams if he felt so inclined. Now it’s not fully known who is on that no-trade clause but we do know that it includes the New York Yankees whom Hamels has been heavily linked. Many would expect that Hamels would waive his no-trade clause to make a move to a contender. However, the fact that he has the clause does at least add a hiccup.

Next: Should Joey Gallo Be on the Trade Block?

When do you think Cole Hamels will be moved? Comment below.

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