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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.