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.
Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.
Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.
Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.
Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.