The Texas Rangers appear to have won the Cole Hamels sweepstakes. What with Mets GM Sandy Alderson putting the kibosh on the Carlos Gomez-Zack Wheeler deal maybe Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. might be put into the same position.
If that’s not the case then Hamels along with lefty relief specialist Jake Diekman are going to the Rangers in exchange for pitcher Matt Harrison and five minor leaguers. Although the Rangers are 48-52 they are only four games back of the Minnesota Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot. But since Hamels is under contract through 2018, the Rangers aren’t necessarily acquiring Hamels for this year. When Yu Darvish returns in 2016, he and Hamels will be quite the one-two punch at the top of the Rangers’ rotation.
Matt Harrison is essentially a reclamation project. After having a career year in 2012 when he won 18 games, Harrison has been plagued by injuries including requiring surgery to fuse his spine. Harrison has won a grand total of two games since that great 2012 season. Harrison is making big money but the Rangers have given the Phillies cash to pay his salary.
Of the minor leaguers the Rangers sent to Philadelphia the big one is catcher Jorge Alfaro who can hit like Mike Piazza. The other minor leaguers involved include right handed pitchers Alec Asher and Jake Thompson and outfielder Nick Williams. Of course, this deal will take years to pay dividends for the Phillies if it does at all.
Hamels, of course, threw a no-hitter in his final appearance for the Phillies against the Cubs this past Sunday. But now it appears Hamels will get to pitch in some meaningful games in August, September and maybe, just maybe into October.