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Rumor Central: Rangers to listen on Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels?

Yu Darvish has a 3.49 ERA in 19 starts this season. LM Otero/AP Photo

The Texas Rangers could part with their two best pitchers if the team continues to play below expectations at the trade deadline, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Rumor Central"There's an increasing buzz that the Rangers will listen on Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels if [the] team doesn't pick up its play before [the] July 31 deadline," Crasnick tweets.

Expected to contend with the Houston Astros for the American League West this season, Texas is a disappointing 43-45, 16.5 games back of Houston but tied with the Los Angeles Angels for second place in the division.

In 19 starts this season, Darvish is 6-8 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. The 30-year-old right-hander has 125 strikeouts over 118 2/3 innings.

Hamels, 33, was out for nearly two months with a right oblique strain. The lefty is 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in eight starts this year.

A four-time All-Star, Darvish is in the final season of a six-year, $56 million contract with the Rangers and projected to be one of the top free-agent pitchers in the upcoming offseason.

Hamels, also a four-time All-Star, is owed a combined $47 million over this season and in 2018, the final guaranteed year of his current contract, which includes two options or a buyout for 2019. There's a $20 million team option; a $24 million vesting option if Hamels pitches 400 innings in 2017-18, including 200 innings in 2018, and is not on the disabled list with a shoulder or elbow injury at the end of the 2018 season, or a $6 million buyout.

--Alex Tekip