Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels has made it known he’d welcome a return to Philadelphia, where he pitched from 2008-15, but a reunion appears “unlikely,” Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes. The Phillies are trying to stay away from the starting pitching market in general, according to general manager Matt Klentak, who said Friday that the team’s rotation “has been the strength of our team this year.” It’s doubtful Hamels would serve as a legitimate upgrade over any of the Phillies’ starters, especially at such a high price ($22.5MM salary this season and then a $6MM buyout in 2019). Formerly a front-end hurler, the 34-year-old Hamels has managed a 4.36 ERA/5.06 FIP with an equally unappealing home run rate (1.73 allowed per nine) over 109 1/3 innings in 2018.
- More on the Rangers, whose relievers are drawing trade interest, per TR Sullivan of MLB.com. Closer Keone Kela and lefty Jake Diekman seem to be garnering the most attention from other teams, Sullivan suggests. That’s unsurprising – after all, both are inexpensive and effective, and they’ve reportedly been on the block for a month.
- Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias is of interest to “at least” one team, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press reports. The 28-year-old, a pending free agent on a $6.275MM salary, is enjoying one of his most productive seasons at an opportune time. With 1.8 fWAR in 350 plate appearances, he’s on pace to surpass the 2.0 fWAR mark for the fourth time. The light-hitting defensive specialist owns a .269/.307/.385 batting line and an 8.9 Ultimate Zone Rating, which ranks second among shortstops.
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters on Friday that the M’s are hoping to address their pitching staff by the deadline. “We’ve certainly had our feelers out there on a variety of different things that would help our pitching staff, whether it be bullpen or starting pitching,” said Dipoto, adding that “we would prefer to focus on pitching.” Dipoto’s less concerned about upgrading the Mariners’ position player group, which will soon get the suspended Robinson Cano back, though Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says (video link) the team’s “open to any upgrade” – even an offensive one. The same is true regarding the Diamondbacks, who are “exploring a wide range of possibilities,” Rosenthal reports. Although, the bullpen is the likeliest area that both Seattle and Arizona will address, per Rosenthal.