Hamels out; Four pitchers to watch
The Phillies have signed Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144 million contract. That leaves four pitchers left on the market who could be a significant upgrade for the Rangers
1. Zack Greinke, Milwaukee – Probably the best pitcher out there. Rangers clearly would take him and aren’t worried about not getting compensation if he leaves at the end of the year as a free agent.
2. James Shields, Tampa Bay – Rumored to be available but don’t count on it. Tampa Bay holds club options on him for the next two years at $9 million and $12 million, which are quite reasonable. Tampa Bay also still in contention and not in a rebuilding mode.
3. Josh Johnson, Miami. – Signed for next season at $13.75 million. Rangers don’t have a great scouting report on him. Miami may keep him since the Marlins insist they are not in a complete firesale. Numbers aren’t overwhelming and his health is tenuous.
4. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia – Rangers would take him back but he is due $75 million over the next three years and the Phillies appear unwilling to help out with salary relief.
5. Ryan Dempster, Chicago – He has turned down a trade to Atlanta. Wants to go to the Dodgers. So far that hasn’t happened.