Rumors have been swirling around Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels for weeks. If the Milwaukee Brewers work out a deal for Hamels, what would it look like?
Jon Morosi of the MLB Network claims that sources close to the Texas Rangers think Cole Hamels could move before the deadline. What would it take for the Milwaukee Brewers to land Hamels for their stretch run?
First, how has Hamels looked recently?
Recently? It’s probably best to look at the season as a whole than just a few starts. Hamels has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts. Those starts came against the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres. Before that he threw a quality starts against the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The good news is that he only walked one batter between his two rough starts. However, he walked seven in his two quality starts. Clearly, Hamels needs to walk more batters in order to succeed.
What does the contract look like again?
He’s getting $22.5 million this year, and has a club option for $20 million next year. That option comes with a $6 million buyout clause. He also has a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to 20 teams.
Who else is sniffing around Hamels?
What could the Milwaukee Brewers offer for Hamels?
For the Milwaukee Brewers to have a shot at Hamels, they’ll need to give up at least two real prospects. Hamels shouldn’t require a top prospect like Corbin Burnes or Keston Hiura, but he will require someone with a real pedigree and Major League future. The Brewers will have to add in a few ‘lottery ticket’ prospects from the low Minors to fend off the Mariners or Yankees.
This deal assumes that two situations occur. First, the Rangers don’t eat any of Hamels’ contract. Second, that Hamels requests the Milwaukee Brewers pick up his team option for 2019. If the Rangers pay off part of Hamels’ deal, the Brewers will have to throw in a better prospect such as Trey Supak or Marcos Diplan.
The Rangers get a real Major League prospect in Corey Ray, and a pair of A-ball lottery tickets in Alec Bettinger and Carlos Herrera. Ray is still graded as a 50-overall prospect, and he owns a .251/.345/.469 slash line in Double-A. If he continues to grow, he could be less than a year away from the Majors.
Bettinger was a 10th round pick last year, and he’s already worked his way up to High-A. He owns a solid low 90’s fastball, and an effective sinker/slider combo that can generate grounders and miss bats.
Herrera is only 20 years old and is still in Single-A. He has a solid low 90’s fastball, and has showed progress with his breaking stuff and change-up. He still needs to add weight, but he has a frame that projects well.
With this deal, the Milwaukee Brewers finally acquire a frontline starter for the stretch run. Hamels isn’t the bonafide staff ace that he was a few seasons ago, but the Brewers won’t have to play ‘fifth starter roulette’ with Colorado Springs any more.