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Hamels trade before break 'increasingly possible'

Rangers left-hander would be a fit on multiple teams
MLB.com

The Texas Rangers are progressing in Cole Hamels trade talks and may be able to move him before the All-Star break, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported on Thursday.

The Texas Rangers are progressing in Cole Hamels trade talks and may be able to move him before the All-Star break, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported on Thursday.

Tweet from @jonmorosi: Sources: #Rangers groundwork on a Cole Hamels trade has advanced to the point that a deal before the All-Star Game is increasingly possible. @MLB

The Rangers have discussed Hamels with the Mariners, sources told MLB.com, although no deal is close. It's also not clear if suitors other than Seattle are more heavily involved in discussions at the moment. The Mariners have two advantages in pursuing Hamels: They are not among the teams to which he can block a trade, and they are not close enough to the luxury-tax threshold for his salary to be a major impediment.

With the Rangers in last place in the American League West at 36-46, they are looking to deal their ace lefty in an effort to rebuild. Hamels is 4-6 with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 16 starts this season, making him one of the top available starting pitchers as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.

Hamels, 34, is in the final year of a six-year, $144 million contract which includes a $20 million club option for 2019 with a $6 million buyout. He also has a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block a trade with 20 teams, although he may be willing to waive it in order to join a contender.

While Morosi did not specify which team is the front-runner to land Hamels, several clubs appear to be potential fits. The Yankees could use another starter to put them over the top in the AL East, while the Mariners might push to keep him in the AL West. A reunion with the Phillies, where Hamels pitched from 2006-15 and won National League Championship Series and World Series MVP Award honors in '08, is also a possibility, as Hamels would give them another strong starter to pair with Jake Arrieta.

Wherever Hamels lands, it seems increasingly likely that he will be wearing a different uniform sooner rather than later.

Tyler Maher is a reporter for MLB.com.

Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels