According to MLB Insider Jon Morosi and multiple sources close to him, the Rangers have ‘groundwork on a Cole Hamels trade’ and talks have ‘advanced to the point that a deal before the All-Star Game is increasingly possible.’

Of course, the news comes as the Phillies are searching for an opportunity to bring a left-handed pitcher into the mix for a team that lacks the variety of starting arms. The Phillies have been increasingly connected to reuniting with their former ace, who was named World Series MVP in 2008.

The 34-year-old is out of his prime and hasn’t had the same pitching prowess that he was known for having during his 10-year career with Philadelphia, but he remains to be a serviceable option for a team who is looking to contend in the postseason. Now nearing the end of his All-Star career, Hamels would like nothing more at this point for another opportunity to play in the playoffs, and the Phillies are his best bet, as they are right in the thick of the NL East race as of June 28.

In 16 starts for the Rangers this season, Hamels is 4-6 with a 3.61 ERA. He’s struck out 97 batters and walked 38. Hamels has a WHIP of 1.274 and a FIP of 5.23. His K/9 is nearly three points higher than last year (6.4) at 9.0.

Hamels is making $22.5 million for Texas this year and has a club option for $20 million for 2019. He would become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, when he turns 36-years-old. For the Rangers, their season is pretty much done at this point of time, and their best bet is to move Hamels to the right destination.

The good news for the Phillies is that Hamels’ no-trade clause wouldn’t include a trade to the Phillies, as they are not on the list of teams that Hamels would have to approve of. The Phillies have a lot of players in their farm system to offer to the Rangers if they would like to add Hamels to their rotation as a third-option behind Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola. I personally don’t believe that Hamels would require a large haul at the expense of the Phillies.

The Phillies were also recently connected to Rangers veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, so there is that possibility that the Phillies could potentially include him in a package along with Hamels.

Josh Liddick is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and Sixers managing editor at Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.

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