Now's the Time for Rangers to Strike on Hamels

Chances are, the Texas Rangers aren't going to be playing meaningful October baseball this year.

They aren't completely out of the postseason hunt, but it's going to be a big uphill climb for them.

But this isn't about October 2015. This is about October 2016, October 2017 and hopefully beyond.

This is about Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, and Derek Holland and Martin Perez behind them. This is about what could be the best rotation in the American League if all the cards fall right, and that begins with the Rangers acquiring Hamels in a trade deadline deal for which they're currently considered the frontrunners, ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers have a ton of money to spend, much more than the Rangers do, but the Rangers hold the edge in prospects, and in baseball, prospects are gold.

Stopping short of trading Joey Gallo, who appears to have a long career ahead of him as a preeminent slugger in baseball, the Rangers should back up the truck for Hamels for 2016, 2017, 2018 and possibly 2019 if a vesting option kicks in.

Hamels at $23 million a year is pretty reasonable, by baseball ace standards. You know what isn't reasonable? To assume guys like Nomar Mazara, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Chi Chi Gonzalez, etc. all pan out and become superstars.

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Let's look at a few names traded in recent big deals by the Rangers: Justin Smoak, Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Blake Beavan, Neil Ramirez. See a theme here? Chris Davis is the only prospect the Rangers have traded in recent years who has had a superstar impact, and it's been inconsistent.

Prospects fail more than they pan out, on average. Hamels is established, and he's the real deal.

Make your move, Rangers. Now is the time.

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