Rangers Pull Off Trade For Cole Hamels
The Texas Rangers got their man. After much anticipation and endless trade rumors, the Rangers finally secured a deal that would net them Philadelphia Phillies pitching ace, Cole Hamels.
The 31-year old southpaw was in high demand all season, but really picked up steam in trade talks after throwing a no-hitter at Wrigley Field less than a week ago.
The Rangers prevailed with a huge get in Hamels despite half of Major League Baseball seemingly competing for his services. Texas did give up a considerably amount to get Hamels, but for an ace in his prime that is signed through 2019, it’s fairly arguable it was a deal worth making.
The Rangers sent Matt Harrison, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro to Philly, while Jake Diekman joins Hamels in Texas.
It’s a solid return for the Phillies, who are currently one of the worst teams in baseball and knew they had no chance at a post-season run. Being one of the oldest teams in the league, as well, the Phillies get younger with this move and land three solid prospects in the process. Harrison was also a solid part of the deal, as he’s returning to form following Tommy John surgery but could be a big part of their future if all goes well.
As for Texas, they’re suddenly in the mix to make some serious noise when it comes to the 2015 MLB playoff picture. Texas currently isn’t a very dangerous team at just 48-52 and eight games out of first place in the AL West. However, the Rangers boast a stacked offense that has produced a whopping 435 runs on the seaosn. The problem? Their shaky defense.
With an elite offense behind hind, Hamels comes in knowing if he can bring his stuff, he could be leading a very good Rangers team. The rest of the Rangers’ pitchers will have to find a way to fall in line and produce behind Hamels, though, and that’s where things could get dicey. The team shipped away a decent pitcher in Harrison just to land Hamels, and really only Yovani Gallardo as a reliable pitcher in the rotation.
Good fortune could be coming the Rangers’ way, though, as Derek Holland is slowly working his way back from a shoulder issue and if healthy, could suddenly give Texas a nice trio of pitchers at the top of the rotation.
And that’s just for 2015. Come next season, Hamels will still be here to pave the way on defense and Yu Darvish (elbow surgery) should return.
Texas is now officially on watch to make a serious run right away this year, but fans shouldn’t be disappointed if they fail. Hamels can’t cure all of their ails automatically and the rest of the pitching rotation still has flaws. It’s a start, however, and if Hamels and co. can at least make steady progress as the 2015 MLB season winds down, there could be a lot of optimism for them headed into 2016.
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