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.
The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Brooks Pounders from the Indians for cash considerations, the teams reported Saturday. Despite his limited and varied major-league experience, Pounders has put up intriguing numbers at the Triple-A level and is expected to step into a not-insignificant role with the Mets’ relief corps.
Pounders, 28, signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last December and pitched to a healthy 2.31 ERA, 2.8 BB/8, and 11.8 SO/9 over his first 35 innings in Cleveland’s farm system. He hasn’t taken the mound in a major-league setting since 2018, however, when he appeared in 14 games with the Rockies and labored through a much more unsightly 7.63 ERA, 1.2 BB/9, and 10.0 SO/9 across 15 1/3 frames. Still, his peripherals are promising, and there’s no question the Mets could use some help bolstering a bullpen that currently ranks eighth-worst in the league with a collective 5.31 ERA and 0.2 fWAR.
In subsequent roster moves, fellow righty Tyler Bashlor was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse for the second time this season, while Héctor Santiago was designated for assignment, Tim Peterson was optioned to Triple-A, and Chris Flexen was recalled from Triple-A. It’s been a less-than-ideal campaign for Bashlor so far this year: through 13 relief appearances for the club, he lost control of a bloated 5.23 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, and 9.3 SO/9 in 11 2/3 innings and had not been utilized in a game since June 2.