ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers may be on the fringe of the playoff hunt but that hasn’t stopped them from being big players at the trade deadline.
The Texas Rangers have agreed to a deal for Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels in a blockbuster deal that included six players going to the Phillies, including left-hander Matt Harrison.
In addition to the ace lefty, the Rangers are also getting left-hander Jake Diekman and cash in exchange for Harrison, minor league pitchers Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher as well as outfielder Nick Williams and catcher Jorge Alfaro. The Phillies are also sending cash to Texas in the deal according to a source.
Neither Texas general manager Jon Daniels nor manager Jeff Banister would comment on the deal.
Hamels, 31, is under contract through the 2019 season with that year being a vesting option.
He’s 114-90 in 10 seasons, including 6-7 this year with a 3.64 ERA. He’s reached double figures in wins in six seasons and has a streak of seven years with at least 30 starts made intact.
He’s slated to make $23.5 million each season through the 2018 season and could earn another $20 million in 2019.
In getting rid of Harrison the Rangers rid themselves of the $26 million they owe him over the next two seasons. Injuries have limited Harrison, who was the club’s pitcher of the year in 2012, to nine starts over the last three seasons.
Harrison wasn’t available postgame but teammate Mitch Moreland had mixed emotions about the deal.
“He’s been a teammate, almost a brother for a while, a good friend of mine,” Moreland said of Harrison. “It’s going to be tough to see him go, but I wish him the best of luck, and looking forward to getting Cole in here and getting to know him and introducing him to the team, letting him be a part of this.”
Thompson, Eickhoff and Asher are the top three pitching prospects in the minor-league system. Eickhoff and Asher are at Triple A Round Rock and Thompson is in Frisco. Eickhoff was pulled after five innings Wednesday and was 9-4 this year between Frisco and Round Rock.
Asher has also split time between Double A and Triple A, going a combined 4-10. Thompson, who came over from Detroit in the Joakim Soria trade last season, was 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA for Frisco.
Williams had a breakout season for Frisco, earning a trip to the Futures Game. He was pulled from Wednesday’s game as well. He was hitting .300 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI.
Alfaro, one of the top catching prospects in baseball, had his season cut short by ankle surgery. He was batting .253 for Frisco with five home runs and 21 RBI before getting hurt in early June.
Diekman, 28, has been with the Phillies for four seasons. In 41 appearances this year the hard-throwing left-hander has an ERA of 5.15.