One of the big names floating around is Philadelphia starting pitcher Cole Hamels. This deal is very tempting for a number of reasons.
First, at the age of 28, Hamels is still in his prime. He is also a proven winner and capable of anchoring a rotation with 85 career wins and a lifetime ERA of 3.36.
Perhaps what is most important to the Rangers is that Hamels is not intimidated by October. He is 7-4 with a 3.09 ERA in the postseason, including a NLCS and World Series MVP.
However, despite his pedigree, Texas should not empty the farm system by dealing for the Phillies lefty. He would be a tremendous asset, no doubt, but the cost of acquiring him can possibly threaten the Rangers' long-term plans to compete.
Philadelphia will mostly likely require some of the Rangers' top position prospects in a trade. Jurickson Profar is out of the question, but players like Mike Olt and Leonys Martin will have to be on the table.
Texas is going to need young players with big upside such as these. The middle of their lineup—Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz—are all over 30-years-old.
To some, this might mean that the championship window is closing. But, the reason Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels built this organization by committing to the farm system, is that it continually keeps the window open.
Another reason to avoid the Hamels trade is that his contract expires at the end of this season, which makes him a half-season rental. This would not be cause for concern except for the fact that the Rangers already have a pretty important player who needs a new deal—Josh Hamilton.
Should Hamilton leave via free agency, it only puts more emphasis on the young players Texas has been developing in its system. Olt, Martin and Profar all provide alternatives that can collectively fill the potential void in the offense left by Hamilton. They are also cheap at this point, allowing the Rangers to use their financial resources to sign players they need to improve the team.
Once again, Hamels would be a big addition, but only at the right cost. Texas already has the second most wins in MLB and rank in the top ten in team ERA. They signed Roy Oswalt and invested quite a bit in Yu Darvish.
The Rangers are also getting healthier, with Colby Lewis and Derek Holland returning to the rotation and Neftali Feliz soon to follow.
The goal this season is to win the World Series and Texas has the team to do that. There are areas that need improvement, but falling short of their goal will not be due to lack of talent.