Veteran pitcher Cole Hamels has retired, according to the San Diego Padres. Hamels signed a minor league deal with the Padres this offseason, and had been working at their spring facility in Arizona in an effort to return, but had yet to appear in any games of any sort.
Per Dennis Lin on Twitter, Hamels’ agent said that Hamels was “having trouble recovering and throwing without pain,” and that doctors informed Hamels his shoulder is inflamed.
The 39 year old Hamels last appeared in the majors in 2020, when he appeared in one game for the Atlanta Braves. He attempted a comeback in 2021, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August, but did not appear in any games that year.
Hamels was the 17th overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, making his debut with them in 2006. In his sophomore campaign he made the first of four career All Star appearances, and finished sixth in the Cy Young balloting.
Most meaningful for Rangers fans is Hamels’ stint in Texas. Acquired at the trade deadline in 2015, along with Jake Diekman, in exchange for Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff and Matt Harrison. The Rangers were 49-52, 8 games back in the West, when they traded for Hamels. They went 39-22 the rest of the way, with Hamels throwing a memorable complete game in a 9-2 victory on the final day of the season to clinch the A.L. West title.
Hamels was a huge part of the Rangers’ playoff teams in 2015 and 2016, and later was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2018 in a deal that brought Texas Eddie Butler, Rollie Lacy and Alexander Ovalles.
Hamels finishes his career with 58.0 bWAR in 423 games. He has a career 163-122 record and 3.43 ERA. Hamels is also 33rd in career strikeouts, with 2560.