Texas Rangers Roll Dice On Cole Hamels Acquisition
The Texas Rangers have reportedly acquired pitchers Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for six players. The blockbuster deal will see pitcher Matt Harrison and prospects Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams and Jake Thompson all headed to the “City of Brotherly Love”. The Phillies will also send $9.5 million the Rangers way to offset the remaining $90.5 million on Hamels deal after this season.
The Rangers brain-trust was able to consummate the deal without parting with top prospect Joey Gallo in the deal. However, Thompson was ranked 2nd, Alfaro 3rd and Williams 5th organizationally by Baseball America at the beginning of the 2015 campaign.
Hamels leaves Philly after having just thrown a no-hitter in his previous start, a feat that definitely sealed his fate as a Phillie. The 31-year old lefty sports a 6-7 record with a 3.64 earned run average, 1.181 WHIP and 137 strikeouts in 20 starts thus far this season for the league’s worst basement dwelling Phillies. Hamels will form a lethal duo with the injured Yu Darvish next season in the lone star state.
The Rangers currently sit 8 games out of first place in the AL West and 4 games back of the wild card. This deal will definitely increase their odds next season to be contenders if they are unable to climb the American League leader board in the remaining 62 games this season.
The Phillies boatload of players they obtained will bode well for their rebuild in the coming seasons. Harrison is owed $26.4 million over the next two seasons with a team option that includes a $2 million dollar buyout for 2018. Harrison has made 3 starts since being activated from the disabled list and recovering from spinal fusion surgery.
Jake Thompson was selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers and eventually shipped to Texas as part of the Joakim Soria package. Thompson has spent the season with Double “A” Frisco posting a 6-6 record with a 4.72 earned run average while fanning 78 batters in 17 starts. Thompson was ranked the 43rd best prospect by Baseball America prior to the season.
Catching prospect Jorge Alfaro was donning the tools of ignorance for the Frisco Roughriders this season. The backstop is hitting .253 with a .746 OPS and 5 home runs in 49 games. Alfaro was ranked 67th by Baseball America prior to the 2015 campaign.
The 21-year old Nick Williams was selected in the 2nd round of the amateur draft by the Rangers in 2012. The young outfielder was batting .300 with an .837 OPS, 13 round trippers and 10 stolen bases in 96 games for Frisco.
Pitching prospect Alec Asher was promoted to Triple “A” Round Rock after beginning the season with Frisco. Asher was 3-6 with a 4.73 earned run average and a 1.392 WHIP in 12 starts with the Express of the Pacific Coast League.
Jerad Eickhoff is also with the Round Rock Express after beginning in Double “A” this season. Eickhoff is 8-4 with a 4.47 earned run average while fanning 90 batters in 96 innings of work.
The plethora of prospects will continue to cut their teeth in the minors until the Phillies are ready to evaluate their talents at the major league level. While the Rangers are hopeful that Hamels can solidify and anchor their staff for years to come in Texas.
A baseball trade both teams can live with.