Though we’re only a bit more than halfway through May, the Rangers have already informed other clubs that they’re open to selling off some veteran pieces, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports in his latest notes column. The report doesn’t characterize talks as serious, which isn’t surprising given that it’s not even June (the Draft is still a larger focus for most teams), though Rosenthal notes that some rivals have begun to tell Texas that they’re interested in various players.
The Rangers, off to just a 17-28 start to the season, find themselves buried under an 11-game deficit in the AL West and 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot in the American League. Only three AL clubs — the Orioles, Royals and White Sox — have lower winning percentages than the Rangers.
Rosenthal lists left-hander Cole Hamels as the “most prominent” name that is likely to move, though he also suggests that Adrian Beltre would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to head to a contender once he’s back from his second DL stint of the season (both due to a strained left hamstring).
[Related: Texas Rangers depth chart | Texas Rangers payroll]
The Rangers aren’t exactly teeming with useful veterans, but Doug Fister, Bartolo Colon, Jesse Chavez and Tony Barnette have all enjoyed above-average starts to their seasons. Lefty reliever Jake Diekman, too, is sporting a solid ERA and an impressive strikeout rate, though he’s walked a staggering 14 batters in 14 2/3 innings, which will surely make other teams leery.
On the position-player side of the coin, the Rangers have fewer appealing assets, outside of the currently injured Beltre. Rosenthal notes that the organization isn’t keen on listening to offers for young players like Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara or Delino DeShields Jr., and that leaves little in the way of productive assets. Speculatively speaking, perhaps Robinson Chirinos would be appealing for a club in need of catching help like the Nationals or Twins. While he’s hitting just .198/.280/.414, he’s again showing good power (six homers, .216 ISO in 125 plate appearances) after hitting .255/.360/.506 last season. He’s controlled through 2019 and would only be owed the remainder of this season’s $2.25MM salary plus a cheap $2.375MM option for next season ($1MM buyout).
If Hamels is indeed the likeliest name to go, he’s provided interested teams with a mixed bag of results so far in 2018. Hamels struggled with his velocity early in the season but has seen his fastball surge back to life recently. After averaging less than 90 mph on his heater in his first three starts, he’s now sitting comfortably in the 91-92 mph range, including a season-high 92.2 mph in his most recent appearance. The lefty’s 9.9 K/9 rate and overall 25.1 percent strikeout percentage would be his highest since his rookie campaign in 2006, and his 12 percent swinging-strike rate is up considerably from last season’s career-low 9.7 percent.
Hamels, though, is also walking more batters than ever before (3.7 BB/9, 9.3 percent overall walk rate), and his 43.7 percent hard-contact rate allowed to opposing hitters is among the highest in all of baseball. He’s also earning $22.5MM this season and is guaranteed at least a $6MM buyout on next year’s $20MM option.
In addition to that sizable sum of money, Hamels also has the power to block trades to 20 teams; MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported earlier this year that the only teams to which Hamels can be traded without his consent are the Mariners, Cardinals, Nationals, Astros, Cubs, Phillies, Royals, Rays and Braves. So while a team like the Yankees will be an oft-speculated and reported fit for Hamels, he’ll have the ability to try to negotiate a bit, perhaps by saying he’d only approve the deal if next year’s option were to be guaranteed.
Looking around the rest of the roster, Fister is playing on a $4MM salary that includes a $500K buyout of next year’s reasonable $4.5MM club option. His 3.43 ERA isn’t supported by fielding-independent metrics, but he’d be a nice steadying force at the back of someone’s rotation. The timeless and affable Colon signed a minor league deal with a $1.75MM base salary, and while he’s not as good as his 2.82 ERA would indicate, he’s demonstrating elite control and inducing grounders at a 50 percent clip while racking up plenty of innings (51 through nine appearances, including seven starts).
In the bullpen, Chavez’s 4.81 ERA sells him short, considering the fact that he’s averaged 10 strikeouts and just 1.9 walks per nine frames. He’s on a one-year deal worth $1MM. Barnette has missed time with inflammation in his elbow, but his velocity is holding at 93 mph. He owns a 9-to-2 K/BB with a career-best 56.7 percent grounder rate in 10 1/3 innings. With a $1.5MM salary and a similarly affordable club option, he’s fit nicely into a contending bullpen’s middle relief corps.
As ever, it remains unlikely that anything too significant will happen in mid-May. The Rangers are undoubtedly only in the preliminary stages of gauging the market for their veterans, while some clubs throughout the league have yet to determine whether they’ll actively acquire talent this summer, end up in a holding pattern or wind up selling off pieces themselves. Contending always looked like a long shot for a Texas club that put together a patchwork pitching staff, however, and it seems they’ve largely accepted their fate as summer approaches.
Come home, Big Sexy. Another Cy awaits.
Sigh is more like it… :/
I think he has 1000/1 odds right now. You should throw $1,000 on it. There may not be a better way to become a millionaire.
Maybe a better chance of throwing away a thousand bucks !
Good move by the Rangers. I can see Beltre going to the Dodgers, and move turner to second base?
Slim to no chance that happens as it would put LA over the luxury tax. Only way it happens would be if it was part of a bigger deal with Kemp and Forsythe going to Texas.
Why would the rebuilding Rangers want Kemp or Forsythe
That’s why I stated that it’s a slim to no chance of happening…..or did you not read that part of my comment? LA won’t trade prospects for Beltre as it would put them over the cap. Kemp actually has some trade value if LA included $$$. But then they would need to attach another contract to offset Beltre’s contract. Something like Kemp, Forsythe, and $18M would offset 2018 salaries for both teams. Then both teams would have to figure out other pieces……like I said, slim to no chance of it happening.
I like to make trade proposals and say slim to no chance it happens because it makes no sense for one or more of the teams.
You have a better chance of seeing Bellinger in CF/LF than you do seeing Turner at 2nd.
But at the end of the day with his injuries and salary I can’t see it all unless there is a significant portion of salary that’s being eaten.
Betting Yankees would go after Hamels.
*hoping inside they go after Big Sexy instead, because who doesn’t want his thiccness on your team?*
No Yankees fan wants Colon.
I do not lol he can keep doing his sexy things elsewhere
That guy isn’t even a Yankees fan…
Would be nice to see Beltre get one last shot at a ring, but probably not a huge fit between his salary and the contenders’ needs for a third baseman.
Boston? Would be great to see him work with Devers.
Hamels, Big Sexy, and Fister could all be options for the Yankees when they start looking to bolster their starting rotation.
Too much, Hell no, give me a break.
5 seasons ago maybe, although Colon is pitching well
they really dont got much lol.
Hamels and Beltre… maybe Elvis… you could probably sell someone on Minor if u moved him back to the pen
For the love of All things good, please will the Stl Cardinals please trade for
Bartolo Colon ! I Love the way the big man goes out and competes ! And in hindsight could we trade Matt Carpenter for Matt Adams?
Not going to happen
This an easy way to make adrian Beltre happy.
Adrian Beltre and jake diekman to the astros for j.d.davis, david paulino Tony sipp and gattis.
The salary dump by the astros would help retain Beltre to play DH. Rangers would get 2 prospects who need to be in the majors very soon and 1 who takes over for Beltre asap.
I don’t understand what the Rangers would want with Gattis or Sipp; those guys don’t have any value on their roster and are pricey.
It’s called salary. 18 million on Beltre you gotta even that money out. It actually makes his value lower. Both gattis and sipp are off the books at the end of the year so its would be a no love lost thing.
This isn’t the NBA, you don’t have to even the money out. The whole point of selling off vets in MLB is to LOWER payroll obligations.
I think if the Rangers agreed to take on that salary they could ask for better prospects, no?
I like how you at least tried to explain the reasoning to this lol
Tom E. Snyder
Substitute Tyler White and Kemp for Davis and I’m in.
Ok I see the twins and nationals need catching help but what about the cardinals?? We have Francisco Pena and Steve Baron. A lot of players would be upgrades
Although if Pena plays like he did last night I am happy with him.
Rangers fan here, I knew they wouldn’t be going anywhere this season. Good move by them to let it be known they are already open to dealing players. Hopefully they can get additional value by possibly dealing them early in the season. Really would like them to cut some salary and gain a couple top 100 specs if possible
Non Rangers fan here and I agree with everything you said here.
Nothing wrong with being a realistic fan. The Rangers almost had one but it slipped away. In contention for a decent run but their window is now shut. They’ll get some return on a few guys and maybe move some salary for what you hope to be future spending and rebuild. Could be worse they can rebuild while the stacked Astros have their reign in the AL West and if all goes well the Rangers window reopens about the time the Astros starts to or closes completely. No matter what selling off any assets is the only move. With that record, in that division, and their aging roster they arent going on an incredible winning streak to get back into contention.
Other teams will wait for Rangers to pay off more of Hamels big salary…..
Trouble is, the Rangers have nobody other teams would want. Beltre at 39? Hamels at 34? Maybe the latter would be worth a shot, but nothing there worth trading for in my opinion!
The Hamels contract is a huge hurdle, especially for those teams worried about the CBT. To get anything of value from those teams, Texas would have to pay down Hamel’s salary in a particularly significant way
Its hard to think that some teams may be counting on the Rangers for pitching help…. It just goes to show how weak pitching is across baseball.
Beltre to the Braves makes a lot of sense
would love to see that
It would depend on how much faith ATL has in Riley. Do they feel he is ready for MLB in July or wait until September and give him more time at AAA.
If you’re in a playoff race, you would 100% want beltre over a rookie. No matter if he’s ready or not.
I’m of the opinion that Riley is the real deal, BUT if Beltre can prove he’s healthy over a few games he’s likely to be a better solution than promoting Riley. The in game experience and the veteran influence of the future hall of famer would likely leave lasting impressions on the young roster.
Can’t be worse than the desiccated corpse of Jose Bautista.
Was thinking that too. Was also thinking Jesse Chavez, Big Sexy and wondering if Profar would be an option at 3B. Would love to see Gallo but he reportedly has said he won’t do 3B so he would have no place to play.
Hamels will eventually come back to Philly
Tony Barnette to the Indians for an average prospect makes a lot of sense for both sides in my opinion. The Indians need some middle relief stability.
Seeing what Bartolo has done, Mets need him bad…
If the Braves stay playing well and in the race, Beltre would be a great addition. Seeing a seasoned Vet like Beltre with our young base would be great.
I have no problem with Rangers trading players, slim chance it was going to be a winning season anyway. Time to try to restock with some young players, they already have a good core to build around. As the season progresses, the injuries will pile up and other teams will come calling…..
Once Bautista is gone in Atlanta, unless he’s moved to a primary PH spot, wouldn’t mind at all seeing Beltre in Atlanta mentoring Austin Riley once he’s called up
Please trade odor well you can get a tiny bit for him.
Cards have need at 3B….Carpenter is not good defensively OR offensively anymore. One year stopgap with Beltre. Maybe package Diekman with him. Get Carson Kelly in return. His star doesn’t shine as bright anymore.
The Cards are not trading Kelly! He hasn’t been given a decent chance yet
and he’s injured right now. Plus Carp has started to heat up. If anything, I’d take a chance on Gallo or Profar !
Gallo is one of the few drawing cards the Rangers have these days and he’s under control for another few years. They’ll want him selling tickets when they move into the new park. Frankly, I don’t know why the Cards would want him though. He’s another Adam Dunn. But if Beltre comes back healthy, he’s a better bet for STL getting to the playoffs. But now, with DeJong injured for who knows how long, Profar might be a good fit at SS especially since Andrus is due back in a couple weeks for TX.. Carpenter is heating up? Well, he is up to 171. LOL. And he’s bad defensively at third and first. Beltre is one of the best with the glove,. And how is Kelly going to get a “decent chance” on a team contending when he hasn’t shown he can hit big league pitching and he’s hardly in a league defensively with Yaddi.
The last 4 games Carpenter has had 10 hits! That is heating up. Kelly hasn’t even gotten a chance to prove he could hit big league pitching yet. Way to small of a sample so far! That’s why I said he needs a decent chance to do so. How many catchers out there that can stack up to Yadi defensively ? They don’t need a 39 year old injury prone Beltre . Gyorko is a much better option at 3B.
Colon will not be a yankees. Hammels however, could be
Halos could use hamels.
with what farm system though, He would be nice in a halos uniform
The Angels have 4 or 5 prospects in the Top 100! Their minor league system is not as bad as what you think it is.
Hamels to Seattle makes a lot of sense.
Hamels back to the phillies would be nice
joseph ray meyer
hamels and colon to the twins for gordon and keplar
joseph ray meyer
buxton gibson rosario and escobar and gonsalvez and jake reed to yankees for cc sabathia tanaka stanton and judge plus hicks and montgomery and from rockies to twins cargo and manship ian desmond and wilson ramos carlos gomez kiermeyer archer to twins for ervin santana taylor rogers tyler duffey dj baxendale from the angels shoshei ontani pujols trout for buxton grossman nick buss felix jorge lewis thorpe and lewin diaz from cubs gimenez darvish lester lackey r rosario and duensing for sano c brian olson of’s lamarre p’s moya busenitz trevor may nick anderson kohl stewart
Would be cool to see Hamels back in Philly. Beltre is still a really good player when healthy. Odor is worthless, Gallo would be interesting trade candidate. I don’t see them moving on from him. Will Profar finally get a fresh start somewhere?
I don’t know why Gallo would be traded. He’s under control another few years and one of the few reasons to go to a Rangers game these days. But the reality is, Gallo is another Adam Dunn both offensively and defensively. What would make sense is trading Profar to STL with DeJong on the DL for lord knows how long,. Plus, STL has their second base problems so moving Profar or DeJong to 2b would be better offensively for STL. I can see any number of teams interested in Hamels. He’s not cheap but he has an option for next year. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Hamels can only be traded to a handful of teams without his approval – the Mariners, Cardinals, Nationals, Astros, Cubs, Phillies, Braves, Royals, and Rays.
I think you’ve made your own points about why Gallo would be traded! LoL! He’s ceiling is Adam Dunn
Plus Profar woujdnt be the solution offensively for the Cards . He would be just a stop-gap until DeJong came back !
I see the point of Hamels contract being a huge hurdle for teams trying to reset the salary cap clock but for most teams I don’t see it as a huge financial risk. If he’s closer to what we are seeing now and headed in the right direction it won’t be too much for a lot of teams. Even though it has a 6 million buy out his deal is a little more reasonable because the deal is shorter term and doesn’t have the potential to cripple a team for years to come. If you have a chance this year your bring him on and if he performs you pick up his option and if he doesn’t you take the buyout hit. Teams are scared of the 3,4, and 5 year deals that can change the outlook of a team for years to come most can take a chance on a shorter term high annual salary
Come Daniels admit to rebuild and get it over with. And while your doing find yourself another new team like in the independent league or somewhere else.
Hamels to the Braves. Staff needs a veteran presence. Hamels has World Series experiences and the Braves need it.
Beltre stays. Health.
Deikman goes to a team needing a lefty with playoff experience. Astros?
Fister goes to a team needing a veteran starter at the back of the rotation. Senators?
Elvis stays, unless contender has a bad injury.
Claudio goes to a fringe contender needing 7th inning help.
Colon goes to Mets for spike in attendance with Chirinos?
So, do you have a time machine to send Fister 50 years into the past?
Oops. Well if it’s 50 years in the past, Colon would be in his rookie season. Ha
Senators? Huh? Are you talking about the Nationals?
K, I thought so!
As a rangers fan, I am so glad we are rebuilding! Getting ready for our new stadium in 2020 lol
Remember when Hamels blocked his original trade going to the Astros bc he wanted to play for a WS contender? Hahaaaa. Now the Astros are on his list. Too little too late buddy.
Yeah, I remember when Houston was the worst team in baseball, and it wasn’t even close. There’s a saying that you’ll win 54 games, you’ll lose 54 games, and you fight for the other 54. Well, Houston managed to not be able to win their pretty much guaranteed share when they were trying to see just how bad they could be.
The year Hamels was traded wound up being just the 3rd winning season Houston had during Hamels MLB career… Yeah, that inspires confidence… Ever watch Bill & Ted? Particularly of note: discussing the need for Eddie Van Halen. You gotta be good enough for the big names to even think about coming to join you.
Astros have the title. So you really can’t argue against your point. I do think at the time of the trade, Rangers looked closer to being a champion. I would have agreed with him. Obviously I was wrong.