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Report: Rangers, Mariners have dialogue about Cole Hamels trade

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MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported early Friday morning that the Rangers and Mariners have had dialogue about a trade involving starter Cole Hamels. As Morosi notes, a deal isn’t close yet.

Hamels, 34, is earning $22.5 million this season and has a $20 million club option for the 2019 season with a $6 million buyout. The lefty also has a limited no-trade clause, but the Mariners are not one of the teams to which he can prevent a trade.

Hamels has posted a 3.61 ERA with a 97/37 K/BB ratio in 97 1/3 innings this season. The Mariners’ rotation would certainly get a boost if he were to join the squad. While James Paxton and Wade LeBlanc have pitched well, Felix Hernandez has been abysmal, posting a 5.10 ERA. While Hamels would certainly not push Hernandez out of the rotation, he would help make Hernandez’s lack of production more tolerable.

The Rangers enter Friday 36-46 and in last place in the AL West. While the club isn’t dead in the water the way the Orioles, White Sox, and Royals are, it is certainly reasonable to cut their losses on the season and try to build towards the future by swapping Hamels for prospects.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.