The non-waive trade deadline is less than 48 hours away, and the Texas Rangers appeared no closer Wednesday afternoon to a deal for Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels or San Diego right-handers Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross.
A major-league source said that some with the Rangers aren’t pleased with the Phillies, who are asking for more than the Rangers are willing to surrender. That could be both in terms of prospects and the amount of Hamels’ massive contract the Phillies would be willing to eat.
Others, though, are cautiously optimistic that a deal will be completed by the 3 p.m. deadline Friday.
The Rangers, another source said, have been very open with clubs about which prospects are untouchable, though general manager Jon Daniels has said throughout the years at that no prospect is untouchable for the right deal.
The club’s payroll has been described as “tight,” but the Rangers also believe that the remainder of Hamels’ deal (three years at $23.5 million a pop, plus the potential for a $24 million vesting option) is in line with market value. They will see some relief in coming years with players who come off the payroll or could create some budget room by trading shortstop Elvis Andrus or right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Talks with the Padres have cooled for now, said a third baseball source. Cashner, the former TCU star, is controllable contractually through next season, and Ross, who wowed with the Rangers with a spring performance and again just before the All-Star break, can’t be a free agent until 2018.
The Rangers’ haven’t changed their approach to top-end rental players, like Padres outfielder Justin Upton, Cincinnati right-hander Mike Leake, and, potentially, Detroit left-hander David Price and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The Rangers are out on them.
The Rangers are also interested in adding bullpen help as well as a part-time right-handed bat, though Phillies outfielder Jeff Francoeur is not on their radar.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760