Cole Hamels is going to be one of the most sought-after names on the trade market in these next nine days leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.
Even though the Texas Rangers aren't necessarily "buyers" from the standpoint of making a push at the postseason this year, they are still rumored to be in discussions to upgrade their roster for coming years. And probably the heaviest rumor out there is the Rangers being in on the Hamels race.
Hamels is under contract through the 2018 season and has a vesting option for the 2019 season, meaning he could be paired atop the Rangers' rotation with Yu Darvish for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and hopefully beyond if the Rangers can resign Darvish.
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He's one of the best left-handers in the game and would take a pretty large package of prospects with all of the Rangers' prospects, other than Joey Gallo, likely being in discussion.
Sources told the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers and AL West rival Houston Astros are the two teams who look to be the biggest possible landing spots for Hamels, which is great and all but it could mean something else — the Rangers could simply be bidding against Houston to drive up the price for the Astros and hopefully cripple their deep farm system for the coming years.
Something is going to happen with Hamels in the next week and a half, and it's likely it will involve a Texas team. Now, we just have to wait and see which one it is.