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Cole Hamels Trade Rumors: Texas Rangers Viewed As Favorite By 'Rival Evaluators'

Though Philadelphia's front office isn't entirely sold on the idea of trading Cole Hamels, it's looking increasingly likely that they will deal the free agent to be prior to the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. If the Phillies do decide to move Hamels, the former World Series MVP would be one of the two the most valuable pieces available this summer, along with Zack Greinke.

ESPN's Buster Olney cites "rival evaluators" in his latest article, but, behind the paywall at ESPN, those rival executives view the Texas Rangers as the favorites to land Hamels -- if the Phillies trade him.

As expected, Olney believes that the Phillies will ask for Mike Olt in any type of deal. The Phillies have a need at third base, much like the Milwaukee Brewers do. It's still unknown who Jon Daniels would be willing to surrender to land either Hamels or Greinke, but Olt, who is now ranked as the No. 11 prospect in all of baseball, might be a little too rich for a two month rental.

Whatever the case may be, we know this: Daniels is busy, and he's looking to improve Texas' rotation prior to the July 31 deadline. We'll see if he can land one of the two aces available in the coming weeks.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.