Rangers “close to getting” Phillies ace Cole Hamels

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UPDATED, 10:28 PM ET: OK, it’s Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to the Rangers for prospects Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Alec Asher, Jake Thompson, and Jerad Eickhoff. Philly will also get 29-year-old left-handed starter Matt Harrison. Larger writeup to come.

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10:17 PM ET: FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi adds that outfield prospect Nick Williams is going to the Phillies as well. And there are others involved.

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10:12 PM ET: Philly will get 25-year-old minor league starter Jerad Eickhoff and 22-year-old catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, per Sullivan. That won’t be all.

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10:08 PM ET: Sullivan now says the trade will go down tonight. It’s in the “final stages.” Hamels declined to talk in the Phillies’ clubhouse.

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9:47 PM ET: MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers are “getting close to getting Hamels” and expect to have everything finalized Thursday. Other reporters are hearing the same.

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6:17 PM ET: The latest on the Cole Hamels …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today hears the Rangers are “now clear-cut favorites” to land the Phillies ace because the Dodgers prefer David Price and the Tigers have now made it known that they’re going to sell off some major parts. There’s been talk of the Astros making a big push for Hamels, but Hamels can block a trade there and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle was told that the Astros’ front office is expecting him to land elsewhere. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday afternoon that the Giants are “fading” from the Hamels chase.

So it sounds like it’s all coming together for the Rangers, who currently stand 4 1/2 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot. Hamels is under contract through 2019 — at a pretty reasonable rate — so this trade wouldn’t just be about 2015.

Hamels, 31, owns a 3.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 137/39 K/BB ratio in 128 2/3 innings this season for Philadelphia. He threw a no-hitter in his last turn through the rotation Saturday against the Cubs.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.