Considering Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo once called Cole Hamels “fake tough” and “chicken sh*t” after the veteran lefty threw at a young Bryce Harper to teach Harper some sort of lesson during the 2012 campaign, we find this one sort of hard to believe...
However, that’s all in the past, right? And you do what you have to in order to win now...
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported on Monday night that the Nationals and Texas Rangers had discussed a potential deal for Hamels.
“Although negotiations are at a preliminary stage and obstacles remain,” Morosi wrote, “the Nationals and Rangers have had trade discussions involving four-time All-Star Cole Hamels, sources told MLB.com Monday.”
There was a fairly quick reaction after that post went up on MLB.com, with an anonymous source within the organization pouring water on this one:
Person familiar with Nationals' plans said reports of talks with Texas about a potential Cole Hamels deal are "not accurate."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 24, 2018
What will the Nationals do though? If the reports on Hamels aren’t accurate, how about some other solid No. 3-ish starter who can slot into the rotation behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg? More bullpen help? How about that catcher we’ve been hearing about since the end of last season?
Fancred’s Jon Heyman wrote earlier this week that, “The Nats are said [to be] ready to make another run at [Marlins’ catcher] J.T. Realmuto,” adding that, “ ... word is they might consider parting with top outfield prospect Victor Robles,” who is one of the two prospects (along w/ Juan Soto), the Fish were rumored to have asked for as part of a bigger package when the two teams talked about a deal this winter.
“The Marlins are understandably not anxious to trade Realmuto,” Heyman noted, “... of whom one scout says, ‘He’s going to be the best catcher in the game for the next five years.’”
Rizzo, in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies last week, talked about the approaching non-waiver deadline and the Nationals’ thinking as it gets closer to July 31st.
Asked about the likelihood of a big move, if one were to bet on something happening, the Nationals’ GM told the Junkies, “you guys should know by now that if you think I’m zigging then you know I’m zagging. That would be a difficult bet to make because there are many, many different directions that we could go.”
“Is standing pat one of those directions?” Rizzo was asked (paraphrasing the question).
“Standing pat is one, adding is one, subtracting is one, add and subtract,” he said, covering all the bases. “So yeah, we’ve done all of them in the past, we’ve done some of them at multiple occasions in the season, and this season is no different than anywhere else, we’re going to address our needs for 2018 and beyond and try to put the best, strongest 25-man roster on the field for the remainder of the season.”
“Run Silent” Rizzo, as usual, isn’t giving anything up...