Cole Hamels has pitched very poorly of late. How do recent performances affect his value and the Texas Rangers chances of moving him?
The Texas Rangers most notable trade chip is rapidly regressing. We’re speaking of Cole Hamels, of course. Hamels couldn’t even get through one inning against the Detroit Tigers this afternoon. He allowed seven runs on two walks and five hits in 2/3 of an inning. He also gave up his 20th home run of the season and now ranks third in MLB in home runs allowed.
Today’s start is not the lone scar on his 2018 body of work. In fact, it was two outings ago that the Chicago White Sox scored seven runs off of him over five innings. Hamels’ ERA climbed above 4.00 after the Chicago start; it is well above that mark after the Detroit start.
Reports surfaced over a week ago that a deal for Cole Hamels could strike at any moment. Philadelphia expressed interest, Seattle expressed interest, and everyone figured the New York Yankees would make themselves known in Hamels’ rumors at some point. However, as we currently stand, no progress has been made on trade fronts and the 34-year-old lefty is not helping the Texas Rangers front office change that.
Perhaps it would’ve been best if Hamels was traded a week ago, but that’s simply not the reality. His current trade value has to be considered, not his trade value from 10 days ago.
What is Cole Hamels’ trade value after two horrible starts?
Frankly, he still has plenty of value. While it has taken a bit of a shot, he still has a few things going for him. First off, no team can argue his track record, whether regular season or playoffs. Hamels is one of the most proven and established pitchers in Major League Baseball. He has 151 wins and a 3.40 ERA over 2,464 career innings pitched. He also has a World Series ring and was named the World Series MVP alongside earning that ring.
Point being, the handful of contenders that are interested in Cole Hamels should not fret. Why? Because any one of those teams would be getting a pitcher who knows how to navigate the postseason.
Secondly, who else are contending teams going to chase after up until the July 31st trade deadline? The starting pitching market is very weak this year. Other than Hamels, its prominent names like Chris Archer and J.A. Happ that are floating around. Archer is working his way back from injury and Happ is not Hamels in terms of playoff experience. If teams are weighing their options, Cole Hamels is near the top of their lists, if not at the very top.
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Lastly, wise teams will look at the big picture. Hamels is in a very awkward position. He’s expected to go out and win for a team that is openly trying to move him. Put yourself in his position…You practice and perform, but you know at any point you could get a phone call informing of your departure to an organization elsewhere in the country. This means big changes for you, but also for your family.
Needless to say, Hamels has a lot going through his head. And pitching in a professional baseball game requires extreme focus, as free from distraction as possible. He does have no-trade protection; though, at the end of the day, why would he deny the opportunity to try to win another World Series. He’s 34. Unless he plans to be the game’s next Bartolo Colon, the clock is ticking on Hamels’ opportunities to win another championship.
Cole Hamels’ trade value has taken a hit, but a very small hit. The Texas Rangers will trade him by July 31st and they will get a fair prospect package in return. Teams can point out his recent struggles against two very bad teams, but they’d be foolish to risk walking away empty-handed. Hamels will pitch very well when he has more to play for, there is no doubt about that.