Cole Hamels to Texas! Thanks, Michael Young?

Obviously the big news for any Rangers fan this week – maybe this year – is Wednesday’s announcement of the proposed trade for Cole Hamels. The Twitterverse went nuts, reactions were all over the map, and so were opinions.

There are several side stories that are worth exploring, too. For example, some writers have said the Phillies really wanted to bring Houston into the mix, because they coveted prospects in the Astros system. But some insiders say that, before Luhnow and Hinch took control, the Astros had a reputation for treating their personnel poorly.  Could that have played into Hamels’ decision not to waive his no-trade clause?

And what went into the lefty’s decision to keep the Rangers out of the no-trade clause? Reportedly, his wife has friends in the DFW area. Also, this front office has built a reputation for professionalism, knowledge of the game and appreciation for players who perform.

But after reading Colin Budd’s piece here at SDI, and then yesterday’s Newberg Report, I got to wondering about another connection that could have played a part.

Let me say right now, I have absolutely no knowledge to base the following on, and no longer have the contacts within the organization needed to get some insight  But just think about this –

Who was in the locker room, in uniform, with Hamels for most of the 2013 season?

Who has a reputation as one of the most professional, best-liked players in the game for this entire decade?

Who has almost universal respect across MLB among anyone who’s ever met him?

And who is now back with the Texas franchise, having been man enough to meet the front office more than halfway to help repair an earlier, angry split?

Is it beyond reason to think that maybe Michael Young spoke privately to Hamels, maybe even long before this trade began to bubble, to maybe help lay the groundwork and confirm that this is, in fact, maybe a good place for good players?

I admit that sometimes, in my eagerness to connect the dots on a complicated puzzle, I see dots that might not even be there. But if there is any substance at all to my bare speculation, it only makes a stronger case for how important Michael Young has been, is, and – one hopes – will continue to be, to the Texas Rangers.

Joe Stroop
I was a sports reporter in DFW throughout the 70s and 80s. I'm a former member of BBWAA and shared the Arlington Stadium press box with all the big boys. I'm here to remind you of the past. I own a Nokona.

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