Matching Up With The Rangers?

July 28th, 2015 by Mike H. | Filed under Baseball, MLB, Phillies.


As we make our way towards the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline on Friday, the names of possible destinations will emerge and subside. As Sam Shipley pointed out, and has continuously updated, the teams involved in Hamels Watch include the Dodgers, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Cubs, Yankees, and Astros with the Rangers currently the front-runners to acquire Hamels. One of Ken Rosenthal’s sources with inside knowledge of the Rangers organization states that outfielder Nomar Mazara is off-limits in any deal and that injured catcher Jorge Alfaro is only an option if the Phillies pay down Hamels’ future salary commitments. To me, this is just posturing on the Rangers end. I’ve agreed with Rosenthal in the past that Cole Hamels’ value is what other teams are willing to pay, but lets look honestly into what the Rangers are “refusing” to part with.

Nomar Mazara would obviously be the center piece to the deal. He is hitting .284/.355/.444 as a 20-year-old in AA Frisco. He will not be 21 until next April, so even if the Phillies left him in AA the rest of the season and/or promoted him to AAA between now and 2016, he’d realistically be a late June call-up of next year, at the earliest. Scouting reports grade him out having an above average arm and above average to well above average power. He would definitely be the left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup with Maikel Franco for the forseeable future.

For me, the secondary piece in this deal should be outfielder Lewis Brinson. The 21-year-old is currently hitting .327/.411/.588 in High A High Desert in the California League. Brinson won’t be 22 until next May and has graded out as having above average power, speed, and fielding abilities. What makes him not a center piece is that the California League tends to inflate players’ stats. The last “center piece” the Phillies acquired that played in the California League during his age 21 season? Tyson Gillies hit .340/.430/.486 before being traded and has had just one season since that he hit over .247. If acquired, I’d like to see Brinson move directly to AA Reading and let him sink or swim there the rest of 2015 and into 2016.

For as much promise as Jorge Alfaro boasts, he suffered a severe left ankle injury at the beginning of June that required surgery. An injury to the ankle that requires surgery is generally a broken bone or a ligament injury. I’m speculating that ligament is the problem as a broken bone would just simply be reported. Ankle ligament surgery is a rather lengthy process to recover from. Being that the surgery was performed in June, Alfaro can’t even start light exercising until September or resume baseball activities until January. Basically, Alfaro would most likely be behind heading into Spring Training. To basically say that Alfaro is a deal breaker is ludicrous as he will lose the best part of a year in development time.

With the Rangers looking for financial flexibility, I’d look into possibly receiving pitcher Yovanni Gallardo in return as well. Gallardo has roughly $4.5M remaining on the final year of his contract. The Phillies would not receive anything more than innings from Gallardo, who would head to free agency with the slimmest of possibilities of returning in 2016. The Phillies are going to need innings pitched once Hamels leaves and to put that workload on David Buchanan, Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan, Jerome Williams, and potential August deadline trade piece Aaron Harang may not end well. Gallardo does have the contractual ability to block a trade to the Phillies, so his permission would have to be received to make such a move.

To sum up, Mazara is a deal breaker to me, Brinson and Alfaro are potential high probability lottery tickets that could make the Hamels trade balance out the debacle that the Hunter Pence from the Astros turned out to be. Be sure to keep checking back with Team TSP on social media and on for all the breaking news and analysis involving Cole Hamels and the Phillies.


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