By: Joel Collins
With David Price and Zack Greinke signing contracts worth $30 million plus a year during the 114th Annual Winter Meetings in Nashville this past weekend let’s take a look at what the Texas Rangers accomplished with the trades the team made at the deadline back in July.
Texas paid a steep price when they packaged starter Matt Harrison and top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, along with outfielder Nick Williams, and three pitching prospects in Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, and Jerad Eickhoff to the Phillies. In return Texas received three-time All-Star and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels and a fire ball throwing left handed reliever in Jake Diekman. Both Hamels and Diekman are under team control through 2019.
In addition to Jake Diekman Texas acquired another hard throwing reliever in the Marlins right handed Sam Dyson for catcher Tomas Telis and pitcher Cody Ege in a last-minute deal as the deadline expired. Dyson doesn’t hit free agency until 2021. All three pitchers had an instant impact on the club and helped Texas race to win the West.
Now here’s what took the deal over the top for Texas. The Phillies agreed to pay about $10 million of the roughly $80 million owed on Hamels contract. The Phillies also agreed to pick up almost $33 million left on starter Matt Harrison’s deal. Harrison has battled back injuries the last couple of seasons and his contract looked to be dead money…Texas would have had to pay it regardless. So basically the Rangers will be paying about $30 million to $40 million for the final 3 or 4 years for Hamels depending if the 2019 team option is met and not voided. This deal trumps what Boston and Arizona had to pay for Price and Greinke. Neither of which are World Series MVP’s. Actually Price hasn’t fared well at all in the playoffs. So to bring home a proven guy who knows how to win for the price Texas is paying is absolutely genius…bravo John Daniels.
With Yu Darvish set to return sometime in May this team plans to contend not only this season but the next few as well. Without breaking the bank for the high-priced free agent splash this off-season Texas is putting its financial responsibility in line for the future and putting themselves in a position to pursue some of the talent that’s set to possibly hit free agency after the 2018 season.