Rangers land ace left-hander Cole Hamels from Phillies

106 Comments

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan had the majority of the major scoops on this one. It’s a massive two-team, eight-player blockbuster deal that will net the Phillies a frontline starter for this year and years to come while injecting more young talent into the Phillies’ under-construction minor league system.

Rangers get …

SP Cole Hamels
RP Jake Diekman

Phillies get …

C Jorge Alfaro
OF Nick Williams
SP Alec Asher
SP Jerad Eickhoff
SP Jake Thompson
SP Matt Harrison

Hamels can help the Rangers down the stretch this season — they’re not completely out of the hunt for the second American League Wild Card — and he’ll pair very well with Yu Darvish in the long term. Hamels, 31, is under contract through 2019. Philly has agreed to eat some of the cash that he’s owed.

In return, the Phillies get an impressive haul of prospects. Alfaro is a power-hitting, big-armed catching prospect who could be a star if he develops better plate discipline. Williams is a well-rounded outfielder with big upside, and Thompson has posted promising numbers in the lower levels of the minor leagues (the 21-year-old has struggled this season at Double-A). J.J. Cooper of Baseball America says all three would probably crack an updated top-100 ranking of the game’s best prospects. The other players are more of throw-ins — especially Harrison, who has chronic back issues and is still owed around $30 million. By accepting him in the trade, the Rangers no doubt increased their package of talent.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
1 Comment

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.