Nationals Rumors: Cole Hamels trade discussed with Texas Rangers
By Blake Finney
Washington Nationals rumors are picking up steam again with just a week left until the MLB Trade Deadline, and a Cole Hamels trade has now been discussed.
It’s just a week until the MLB Trade Deadline, so expect to see several Washington Nationals rumors. And on Monday evening, a report came out that the Nats have had discussions with the Texas Rangers over Cole Hamels.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported that the two teams “are at a preliminary stage and obstacles remain”. But he indicated that the Nats and Rangers have had discussions involving Hamels.
Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post later reported that these talks were not accurate. Janes then elaborated that the Nats did send a representative to Texas on Monday.
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So with conflicting reports, it’s difficult to know whether the Nationals are actually in any sort of serious discussionss over Hamels. However, it is clear that the team are keen to pursue a variety of avenues to get a rotation upgrade as the deadline nears.
It’s fair to wonder whether Cole Hamels is actually an upgrade on what they already have given the season that he’s having. The left-hander slumped to a 5-9 record on Monday, giving up seven runs on nine hits over just five innings against the Oakland Athletics.
His season ERA now sits at an unsightly 4.72, while his HR/9 and BB/9 are at career-high rates of 1.8 and 3.3 respectively. He is striking out batters just under 9 K/9 though, but on the whole, he’s been a number five starter at best.
With that in mind, the Rangers would likely have to cough up most of his remaining salary in 2018. He was due $22.5 million for the 2018 season, so it’s far from cheap and the Rangers would also likely have to pay the $6 million buyout on his 2019 club option.
Once they negotiate the money factor, it’s still unlikely that Hamels could net a massive prospect haul. Were the Nats to give up a few high-upside dart throw prospects, it may be enough. A package of Nick Raquet, Telmito Agustin, and Tres Barrera could be enough to convince the Rangers to part with Hamels while eating most of the contract.
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The Washington Nationals are still clinging to hope of a playoff birth in 2019, and Cole Hamels likely isn’t the solution they need. But if anything, it shows that there will be more Nationals rumors coming around starting pitching, which is the main concern on the team for now.