If it wasn’t already apparent, the Texas Rangers are making clear their intent to return to the World Series.
The Rangers are scouting Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels and Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke as potential trade candidates, according to major-league sources.
The Phillies’ approach to the trade deadline remains somewhat uncertain, even after trading Jim Thome to Baltimore Saturday. But many in the industry believe the Phillies will become sellers by the end of July.
Meanwhile, it is widely expected that the Brewers will make veterans available leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. A Rangers scout attended Greinke’s most recent start for the Brewers, Wednesday in Cincinnati.
The Phillies are seeking a long-term answer at third base and likely would ask the Rangers for star prospect Mike Olt in a trade for Hamels. Olt, who is blocked at third base in Texas by Adrian Beltre, has been one of the best hitters in the minor leagues this year. He has a 1.005 OPS with 20 home runs in 70 games at Class AA Frisco. The Rangers would be very reluctant to part with Olt in any trade.
The Rangers have four starters on the disabled list: Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Alexi Ogando.
-- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi