Report: Texas “All Over” Vince Velasquez

It appears that one year after the Texas Rangers acquired Cole Hamels, the Rangers could visit the well of Philadelphia Phillies pitchers once again.

Yesterday, the Miami Marlins acquired right-handed starter Andrew Cashner in a seven-player deal. The Marlins were able to beat out the Rangers, who struck out on the first of many reported targets as the trade deadline draws closer. After striking out on Cashner, it appears that the Rangers have turned their attention to Phillies youngster Vincent Velasquez.

Back on July 25, Jon Morosi of FOXSports noted (via Twitter) that the Rangers had interest in the 24-year-old right-hander. The talks seemed to have cooled over the past few days, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports noted yesterday that the Rangers were indeed still interested in acquiring Velasquez with the following tweets.

Morosi noted in his tweet earlier this week that the price for Velasquez is very high. This is to be expected, as Velasquez isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2019, and wouldn’t be able to test free agency until 2022. Velasquez was a major piece in the trade that brought reliever Ken Giles to Houston last December. Velasquez and Mark Appel were both headliners of the deal. Should the Phillies opt to trade him, it’ll likely bring back a significant return. 

Since his move to the Phillies, Velasquez has been brilliant. In 97.2 innings of work this season, he is 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA. Velasquez also sports a cool 103:34 K:BB ratio. His most recent outing saw Velasquez go six innings, coughing up two runs over seven hits, striking out five. The right-hander did miss almost two weeks earlier this season with a biceps strain, although that appears to be behind him now. 

This isn’t the first starting pitcher that Texas has been linked to. More specifically, they’ve been linked to players such as Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale and Tampa Bay’s 1-2 punch of Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi

Teams have asked the Rangers to part with top prospects Joey Gallo or Nomar Mazara, although the Rangers haven’t given in to the asking price to this point. As the deadline draws closer, they may feel the pressure to cough up one of those top prospects. Other prospects that could be of interest to teams include Lewis Brinson, Jurickson Profar, Dillon Tate, and Luis Ortiz

It’s currently unclear what the Phillies would ask for in exchange for Velasquez. 

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