3RD UPDATE (7/30): After a night of twisting the bed sheets - Do the Phillies want to trade Velasquez? Why would a 24-year-old be moved twice in a calendar year? What would the Rangers send back? Would it be Joey Gallo? Jurickson Profar? Nomar Mazara? Can we make #MazaraForTomorra (h/t Cormican) work? - it is all apparently back to “unlikely,” according to a guy who would know.
2ND UPDATE: Okay so all these doubts that this deal would happen seem to be harder and harder to, uh, you know. Say.
A major league source told CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies and Texas Rangers are “pretty deep” in trade discussions involving Velasquez. The Rangers, the source said, also have some interest in Jeremy Hellickson, who pitches for the Phillies on Saturday night, but he appears to be a secondary target.
UPDATE: The Rangers are in fact totally watching Vince Velasquez right now. One of them is a “top guy” which I don’t think means he’s an enthusiast of spinning children’s toys.
Scouts from contending teams watching Phils-Braves tonight: Texas, Toronto, SF, LAD, Pitt, Cleve, Miami. Texas has multiple,inc a top guy— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 30, 2016
FROM SLIGHTLY EARLIER: A couple of days ago, we’d heard that it wasn’t just the wily veterans on the Phillies in whom other teams would have interest at the trade deadline. Matt Klentak said he was getting calls about everybody, but one particular rumor surfaced not much later that focused on the Rangers being interested in Vince Velasquez. VV was of course acquired by the Phillies last winter in the Ken Giles trade with Houston, and somewhere between then and now, Texas has apparently become completely enamored with him.
Everyone sort of let out a confused laugh and moved on, assuming this was just some harmless little rumor-fart that no one would sniff for much longer. But on Friday night, Ken Rosenthal said the Rangers were doubling down.
Well, if Velasquez is auditioning for people (likelihood of it leading to something be damned), then let’s scrutinize his start tonight like we would do for anyone else. All he has to do is throw a no-hitter like Cole Hamels or throw a couple of solid starts in a row like Jeremy Hellickson and the Phillies will have all the power in any negotiations that take place, if they take place, which they won’t.
Besides, just this evening, Velasquez gave up a lead-off double in the second to Nick Markakis on a pitch the delivery of which was too “cute and frickin’ fancy” for Larry Andersen. Moments later, L.A. also said commenting on the soupy Georgia weather, “More like Humid-lanta.” So he was in that kind of mood tonight. Meanwhile, Velasquez got out of the inning without the Braves scoring.
Regardless, everyone is having a hard time believing this will result in anything. Rosenthal can’t even finish the tweet announcing the development without mentioning how unrealistic it is. The Phillies want to hang onto Velasquez, so now’s the time for them demand the moon and see if the Rangers are as pitcher-mad as everybody else in this market.