Take yourself back to 2010 real quick — that glorious Rangers season when everything was rosy and great and the Rangers won not only their first ever postseason series but went all the way to the World Series.
That year, they made a key acquisition before the trade deadline when they traded for Cliff Lee, a bona fide ace who was only a rental. He would only be in Texas for less than three months before signing that winter with Philadelphia, but in his time in Texas, he did a ton.
Aside from winning games in the postseason and giving the Rangers a new-found confidence they'd never had, he also groomed a young lefty to be a pretty dang good starting pitcher and passed along a lot of wisdom to what was a really young staff back then.
C.J. Wilson became the Rangers' ace in 2011 and led a staff that went back to the World Series and was one strike away — forget it, you know the story. Say what you want about Wilson and his antics, but he did a wonderful job for the Rangers that season and has been pretty good since leaving to go to the Angels.
Now, the Rangers have another talented lefty with his own antics who could use some guidance, and the Rangers' latest acquisition is in line to be just that.
Cole Hamels and Derek Holland will work out together this offseason, per a suggestion from Michael Young, who was teammates with both players after spending 2013 in Philadelphia following his trade from the Rangers.
Holland spoke about the budding relationship on 105.3 The Fan, and as a Rangers fan, you have to hope there's a lot of truth in what Holland said:
The guy that I've always looked up to; has been a great role model for me both on and off the field is Michael Young. He reached out to me and was telling me about Cole, I think we had talked about the rumors where we were possibly going to get Cole, and he was like you should talk to him, work with him, I'll give you his number and you can start working with him...as soon as we became teammates, Mike was like now's your chance. Get with the guy. Start picking his brain. And, as bad as it was, I was like Cole's son, I never left that guy's side because I wanted to get all the information I could out of him to become a better pitcher. That's how my changeup really got much better was playing catch with him this season. Once he got here, every day we were throwing changeups...Now the offseason is here. We became pretty good friends and we're going to make something of it.