In the midst of a disappointing season, the Texas Rangers own a record of 17-28, good for a .378 win percentage. Sitting dead last in the AL West, a division that will be locked up by Houston in no time, the Rangers have begun entertaining the idea of a rebuild.
Usually when a team wants to rebuild, it must sell off veteran pieces in order to acquire young and controllable talent for the future. The previous three World Series champions all participated in a full-scale rebuild, trading Major League-proven players for Minor League potential. The Royals, Cubs, and Astros were forced to endure a number of losing seasons when rebuilding, a process that requires a ton of patience. However, all three squads found the light at the end of the tunnel, as Kansas City won in 2015, Chicago 2016, and Houston 2017.
The Rangers will look to do more of the same, counting on any and all players acquired in deals to guide them to a World Series championship. Since they will look to exchange their vets for prospects, one team that serves as a potential trade partner is the New York Yankees.
Currently leading a top-heavy AL East, the first place Yankees are serious contenders for a title this season and will look to upgrade the starting rotation leading up to July 31’s trade deadline.
Since the Rangers have quite a few veteran arms and the Yankees own a number of talented ballplayers ranging from the Big League roster to High-A, the two squads may very well pull something off. In fact, this match is so good not even Tinder could touch it.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today recently tweeted the Yankees are one of five teams most likely to land LHP Cole Hamels.
This report makes a great deal of sense considering New York’s need for another dependable arm. Hamels is certainly not what he used to be, but with a 3.48 ERA on a bad Ranger team, he just may be the Yankees’ best option to bolster the starting staff.
The former Phillies ace is 2-4 in 2018, and his 3.48 ERA is similar to a career 3.37 ERA. Striking out 57 in 52.1 IP, Hamels holds a 1.3 WAR on the young season. To put that in perspective, Sonny Gray has a -0.3 WAR while Masahiro Tanaka‘s is currently 0.3.
The one flaw I noticed when digging into Hamel’s 2018 stats is the fact that he too has not provided length in his starts. I won’t name any player in particular, but a number of Yankee starters have frequently failed to pitch into the final third of ballgames. In Hamels, you’re getting a guy who has averaged just south of six innings per start.
If the Yankees are serious about winning a ring this year, they will need to do their best in making sure the bullpen remains fresh in the dog days and hopefully postseason. If Brian Cashman is able to convince Ranger GM Mike Daniels to give him Hamels for mid-tier prospects, then I am all for it. Surrendering a Clint Frazier or Miguel Andújar or even Domingo German is a bit of a stretch, especially for a player who is a free agent after this year with a team option for 2019.
Sure, you have to give up something to receive something, but Cashman and his team have proven capable of winning trades on a frequent basis in the past. These trade ranged from untouched talent such as Didi Gregorius to proven MVP-caliber stars such as Giancarlo Stanton.
Brian Cashman knows what he’s doing and will carefully utilize the assets he has at his disposal in the best way possible. Cole Hamels may very well be the best way to upgrade the rotation, and if a deal he approves comes his way, he will pull the trigger.
Just for fun, a potential rotation of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia, and Sonny Gray is an exciting idea, granted the quintet remains healthy and performs to the back of their baseball cards. Combine this rotation with a lockdown pen and powerhouse lineup, the Yankees have as good a chance to win number 28 as any club in baseball.