The Texas Rangers landed the big fish of the 2015 Major League Baseball trade deadline when they acquired Cole Hamels late Wednesday night for a package of prospects that included catching prospect Jorge Alfaro as well as left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison who is just coming back from a surgery that most thought would take him out of baseball for good.
Does Cole Hamels make them contenders in 2015? Not even a little bit.
They need help in the outfield and they need to find a bullpen piece or two to solidify what has been a sore spot for them over the last few months especially with Tanner Scheppers not doing Tanner Scheppers things and a closer, Shawn Tolleson, who has never done the job before not to mention the lack of experience with the rest of the staff.
Sure, the rotation looks like the best in baseball going forward, especially getting Yu Darvish back from Tommy John surgery and finally getting Derek Holland back and healthy for the first time in three years, but they need to figure out what they’re going to do with another bad contract, Shin-Soo Choo, along with a healthy (or not) Josh Hamiliton.
But what about all the money they’ve taken on with the eight-year extension to Elvis Andrus? A contract that I would call the most asinine of the bunch. Of the ten year contracts handed out, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Elvis Andrus, one of these just don’t belong here (can you figure out who?).
The future isn’t guaranteed for this team even with Cole Hamels now in the mix. They have far too many holes for Hamels to make that much of a difference in bringing back what was an exciting time for Ranger fans. Those years that the team got THIS close to bringing the franchise’s first ever championship back to Arlington.
The off-season will be telling. Doesn’t have to be big contracts for big money but it does have to be the right pieces to right the ship and bring this team back to where it was six and seven years ago respectively.
Hamels is nice. Very nice, in fact.
But it’s not enough. Not even a little bit.