Who could the Texas Rangers get back for Hamels?
Let’s stick with the same four potential landing spots to configure possible returns for Cole Hamels. Keep in mind, the primary area of interest for the Rangers will be pitching. Their minor league pitching has depleted as a result of prior trades. They made strides this past draft, but we all know there is no such thing as having too much pitching. Here are some prospects to look out for:
Rob Whalen: Currently ranked as the Mariners’ #19 prospect, Whalen is a 6’2”, 220 LB. pitcher. He is 24 years old and he has already made his major league debut. Whalen throws a hard-sinking fastball that can reach 93 mph. He also has a quality slider and curveball.
Seth Elledge: Seattle’s #17 prospect, Elledge is a 22-year-old, hard throwing right-handed reliever. He’s pitched only to High-A in his brief professional career, but he has shined. In 29 innings pitched at High-A, Elledge has a 0.93 ERA with 42 strikeouts.
Wyatt Mills: The Mariners’ #10 prospect is a 23-year-old sidearmer from the right side. He played all four season at Gonzaga University and was drafted in the third round in last year’s draft. Mills’ arsenal includes an above-average fastball and slider. Of course, effective sidearm relievers always have a home in Major League Baseball.
Hamels may or may not be worth a #10 organizational prospect. If he isn’t, I believe it’s fair to obtain two mid-ranked prospects in return.
The Yankees have the mother lode of prospect pitching. 13 of their top 15 prospects are pitchers. Therefore, the Texas Rangers should certainly be able to get at least one of them.
In exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman…
Deivi Garcia: Listed at 5’10”, 165 LB, New York’s #14 prospect will need to bulk up with whichever organization he is a part of. Garcia is only 19 years old and he is known for his outstanding fastball and slider.
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Dillon Tate: Absolute best case scenario, the Rangers get Tate back from New York. They drafted Tate 4th overall in the 2015 draft and then traded him to the Yankees in the Carlos Beltran trade. He is currently the Yankees’ #9 prospect and is performing at a high level in Double-A. This season at Double-A, Tate is 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA over 14 starts.
In exchange for Cole Hamels and Keone Kela…
Ranger Suarez: First off, the guy’s name is Ranger. It’s only fitting he becomes a Texas Ranger. Joking aside, the Phillies’ #9 prospect is known for his great command of four pitches (fastball, slider, curveball, changeup). The 22-year-old left-hander is currently pitching at Triple-A and is expected to be major league ready by next season.
Enyel De Los Santos: The 6’3”, 170 LB. right-hander throws hard. His fastball sits consistently in the mid-90s. At Triple-A this season, the Phillies’ #11 prospect is 8-3 with 1.98 ERA over 89.1 innings pitched. He possesses the kind of arm that a team may not want to see go. Nevertheless, Cole Hamels, Philadelphia’s former World Series MVP, and Keone Kela, 20 for 20 in saves this season and under team control through 2020, should be well worth it.
Mario Feliciano: Let’s break the pitching theme with a catcher. Feliciano is a 19-year-old catcher, ranked #14 in the Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system. His athleticism behind the plate and advanced hitting approach streamlines him for a bright future in MLB. He is off to a slow start to his professional career, but he has a very high ceiling.
Marcos Diplan: Diplan originally signed with the Texas Rangers, but was traded to Milwaukee as part of the Yovani Gallardo trade in 2015. He is a 21-year-old, hard throwing righty. In two starts at Double-A this season Diplan owns a 1.80 ERA with 10 strikeouts. He has top-notch stuff, but control is his issue. Though, scouts are expecting his control to improve as he fills into his frame.
Freddy Peralta: Peralta already has five big league starts under his belt. In those starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He ranks as the Brewers’ #9 prospect. The 22-year-old right-hander throws consistently in the low-90s and has a quality slider and changeup to go with his heater.
Please keep in mind, potential trade returns do not include each of these mentioned prospects per team. Rather, these are guys to look out for to headline any return packages.