The MLB trade rumor mill keeps suggesting that the New York Yankees are looking at Texas Rangers’ star Cole Hamels to shore up their pitching rotation. While the Yankees and Cole Hamels seem to be a fit for each other, there are some reasons to put a pause on trade talks. The Yankees’ financial status is one of those reasons that could put an end to a trade that some view as a sure thing.
Cole Hamels has a no-trade clause and a team option for 2019 in his Rangers’ contract. In order for a team to acquire him, Cole Hamels may require that team to pick up his option for next season as well. It is a stipulation that may force the New York Yankees to ask the Rangers to include cash in a potential trade, according to NJ.com.
Absorbing Cole Hamels’ sizable contract would be an issue for the New York Yankees this season. Nevertheless, the Yankees have a need for starting pitching is dire.
On June 8, ESPN cited that the Yankees have placed Masahiro Tanaka on the 10-day disabled list in the wake of the starter dealing with strains in both hamstrings. The injury took place when the Yankees’ starting pitcher was running the bases against the New York Mets.
Masahiro Tanaka, as most finesse pitchers, relies on his legs to get a push of velocity in his pitches. His hamstring injury leaves a wide open timetable for his return.
The loss of Masahiro Tanaka, coupled with losing Jordan Montgomery for the season, puts the Yankees in a precarious spot. The Yankees are already near baseball’s luxury tax, with $197 million in salary commitments.
Creativity is needed if the Yankees want to add to the starting rotation. All roads, however, still lead to the Yankees going after Cole Hamels.
Whichever MLB team that trades for Cole Hamels, they will have to assume the $8 million remaining on his contract for this season. That is the estimated total of what Hamels will be owed after July 31. If the Yankees become the team that trades for Cole Hamels, next season will present some problems also.
Barring the offloading of a massive contract or two, the Yankees acquiring Cole Hamels in the coming weeks puts them above the luxury tax threshold next year as well. The penalty the Yankees would face for being a repeat taxpayer is substantial. Getting the Rangers to send money in a Cole Hamels trade offsets some of the Yankees’ potential cost.
The New York Yankees could ask the Texas Rangers to send some cash in a Cole Hamels trade. In all likelihood, the Yankees, because of their financial situation, will ask the Rangers to pay a hefty portion of Cole Hamels’ salary.
Such a trade demand could force the Texas Rangers to put trade discussions with the Yankees on hold as they entertain other offers. Because of their apparent need for starting pitching, however, the Yankees may be forced to include more prospects as a show of good faith.
Which prospects would the New York Yankees include in a trade for Cole Hamels remain to be seen. The Yankees will have to pay a heavy price, while getting back some financial relief from the Texas Rangers.