The Texas Rangers won the Cole Hamels sweepstakes, but they might not be done dealing.
Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to make what could be his last start for the Rangers on Thursday night against the visiting New York Yankees, who will give the ball to CC Sabathia after Michael Pineda went on the disabled list.
Texas acquired Hamels, along with fellow pitcher Jake Diekman and cash considerations, from Philadelphia on Wednesday in exchange for Matt Harrison and five prospects, highlighted by catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitcher Jake Thompson.
Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, ranks fourth among active pitchers with a 3.30 career ERA and comes off a 13-strikeout, no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
"He’s definitely a great pitcher," first baseman Mitch Moreland said after Texas’ 5-2 win over New York on Wednesday. "Obviously watched the no-hitter the other day, pretty impressive. He’s got a long track record of great success. It will be huge for us."
While the Rangers (48-52) have an arduous road to a playoff berth this season – they’re only four games out of a playoff spot, but are looking up at seven teams in the wild-card standings – Hamels helps them contend for the foreseeable future. He’s signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019.
Gallardo (7-9, 3.19 ERA), on the other hand, is a free agent after this season. With the right-hander posting the lowest ERA of his career, it makes sense for Texas to send him elsewhere before Friday’s deadline.
He’s been roughed up recently though, giving up five earned runs while throwing only four-plus innings in each of his last two starts, and he’s 0-3 in his last five.
Texas snapped a three-game skid Wednesday with just its second victory in the last 14 home games, bouncing back from Tuesday’s 21-5 loss.
"I feel like (Tuesday) was kind of weird, just overall a weird game," said Colby Lewis, who recorded his 11th win. "Feel like this is a team, we don’t really worry about what happened last night."
It marked just the second time in seven games the Yankees (57-43) scored fewer than six runs. They’re averaging 5.7 runs while going an AL-best 13-4 since July 8.
RBI leader Mark Teixeira didn’t play after taking a pitch on the foot Tuesday, though manager Joe Girardi said it was a planned day off.
Of much greater concern for the Yankees is Pineda’s right forearm injury, which led New York to place its scheduled Thursday starter on the disabled list hours before first pitch. Pineda had been erratic over two outings since the All-Star break, allowing nine runs over 11 2-3 innings in a pair of losses.
That led the Yankees to move up Sabathia (4-8, 5.38) from his scheduled Friday outing, though he’ll still be on regular rest.
For most of the season, it hasn’t mattered how much time the left-hander’s had between starts. After two solid outings sandwiching the break, Sabathia struggled again Saturday, allowing five runs – all on a pair of homers – over 5 2-3 innings before the Yankees rallied for an 8-5 win at Minnesota.
His worst start of the season came against Texas. Sabathia kept the ball in the yard May 23 in the Bronx, but he lasted only 2 1-3 and was charged with six of the 10 runs the Rangers scored in the third inning en route to a 15-4 win.
Elvis Andrus is 8 for 19 lifetime against Sabathia but Josh Hamilton is 2 for 20.