Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports this morning that four teams have continued to show interest in left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, and names the Rangers as one of those teams along with San Diego, St. Louis, and Boston. According to Salisbury, the Phillies are in a "staredown" with those clubs in an effort to acquire something within their asking price range of talent.
Hamels has been mentioned in many trade rumors in recent years due to the fact that, well, he's kind of good at pitching, coupled with the fact that the Phillies appear to be in for a somewhat lengthy rebuilding process. Furthermore, with the prospect that Hamels is 31, the Phillies could be looking at a scenario in which Hamels will never be more valuable to the organization than right now.
With that said, Salisbury notes that Hamels won't come cheap, and that Philadelphia is looking for two top talents in exchange.
The top three names that come to mind from the Rangers' perspective would be Joey Gallo, Jorge Alfaro, and Nomar Mazara. Gallo and Alfaro, to me, would seem to be the least likely to be traded, with Mazara also presenting an intriguing set of tools as he has vaulted himself into being among the more prized prospects in the Texas organization.
Of interest, I think, would be that Philadelphia needs to rebuild the middle of their infield after sending away Jimmy Rollins. Texas, of course, has a potential logjam at the position. However, because of the uncertain status of Jurickson Profar's recovery, I think Texas will wait and see before doing anything rash.
Hamels would represent a significant addition to the Texas pitching staff that current comprises of Darvish, Holland, Lewis, and some combination of Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, and possibly (hopefully) Matt Harrison at some point. Hamels has been good for about 3.5-4 WAR a season, and has started 30 or more games in seven straight seasons, so he's been pretty durable.
In the end, this is a deal I don't see happening before the season begins. Perhaps if Texas is in contention near the trade deadline and appear to be one pitcher away from getting over the top, Jon Daniels could make a move like he did in 2010 to snag Cliff Lee. Speaking of Lee, he could be another intriguing possibility if he's able to show anything prior to the trade deadline.
Whatever the case, this would seem to be a case where we'll be left speculating more than seeing a trade actualize, but hey, this is what happens during the winter. Last season, the Rangers were supposedly done spending, and days later signed Shin-Soo Choo. Crazier things have been known to happen.