Cole Hamels trade: Texas Rangers acquire Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels, according to multiple reports, along with lefthanded reliever Jake Diekman.
Going to the Phillies in the deal are outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and pitchers Matt Harrison, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff.
Hamels, 31, is a legit #1 starter, a lefthander who the Rangers have been pursuing since at least 2011. Hamels is under contract through 2018 at $22.5M per year, and has a $6 million buyout on a $20 million option for 2019 that vests at $24 million under certain circumstances.
Diekman, 28, is a lefthanded reliever who strikes out a ton of guys and walks a ton of guys. He will presumably join the Ranger bullpen.
Perhaps the most surprising part of this deal is the addition of Matt Harrison. Harrison has missed most of the past three seasons because of a back problem that was viewed as potentially career-ending. He has battled back from spinal fusion surgery to re-join the Rangers rotation, with mixed results in three starts.
Nick Williams was the Rangers' 2nd round draft pick in the 2012 draft. He gets praise for his preternatural hitting ability, but historically has gotten dinged for his overly-aggressive approach, although that showed improvement this year.
Jorge Alfaro has been one of the Rangers' top prospects for years. A big armed catcher with big-time power, he was slated to be the team's catcher of the future, but had ankle surgery earlier this year that cost him most of this season.
Alec Asher was a 4th round pick in the 2012 draft. The 23 year old righthander draws comparisons to Colby Lewis, is a strike thrower who gives up home runs, and has the potential to be a back-end starter.
Jake Thompson came over to Texas in the Joakim Soria trade last season. The 21 year old has had mixed results at AA this year, but his fastball/slider combo and durability make him a potential mid-rotation starter who could possibly be a #2 starter.
Jerad Eickhoff is a 25 year old who was a 15th round pick in 2011. The righthander is currently in the Round Rock rotation, but could be a power reliever in the majors.
Reports also indicate that the Phillies are sending cash to Texas in this deal.