Hamels Deal Would Likely Start with Mazara

Cole Hamels in Dugout
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If the Texas Rangers want to go get ace pitcher Cole Hamels from Philadelphia, it's going to take a hefty package. Remember, Hamels wouldn't be a rental player. In fact, he'd have at least three years of team control beyond this season, so he's going to be expensive — both in terms of cash money and in terms of prospects in return.

The deal would almost certainly include some form of big-league ready talent, presumably rookie pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, and then a big load of prospects.

With catching prospect Jorge Alfaro out for the season with an ankle injury and top prospect Joey Gallo off the table, the next guy in line would seem to be outfielder Nomar Mazara, the 20-year-old Frisco star who signed with the Rangers as a 17-year-old international signee from the Dominican Republic.

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I was covering the Rangers game the day Mazara signed and saw a lanky kid take batting practice with his countryman Nelson Cruz, who had some nice words to say about the youngster. He's still fairly lanky four years later (6-4, 195 pounds), but he's putting together quite a year in Frisco.

Mazara is batting .286 with a .366 on-base percentage, demonstrating a pretty good grasp of the strike zone with 31 walks in 69 games. He has nine homers with 38 RBIs to go along with his 13 doubles and three triples.

Mazara is a top-50 prospect in all of baseball and would be a huge price for the Rangers to pay for a corner outfielder, especially given the current corner outfield picture in Arlington — a fragile Josh Hamilton and a fragile, underperforming Shin-Soo Choo.

What do you think? Do you part ways with him, and others, to bring in a legitimate ace starter?

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