At long last, the Philadelphia Phillies have finally decided to pull the trigger on a trade involving lefty Cole Hamels. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Rangers have agreed to send LHP Matt Harrison, RHP Alec Asher, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, OF Nick Williams, C/1B Jorge Alfaro and RHP Jake Thompson to the Phillies in exchange for Hamels, LHP Jake Diekman, and cash. The deal is nearing completion and an official announcement is pending on all players being told of trade.
FInal deal and its a doozy: Matt Harrison, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro & Jake Thompson for Hamels+Diekman+Cash.
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) July 30, 2015
A final deal has been agreed upon, and it is expected to be finalized once the medicals for all eight players involved are revised and Commissioner Rob Manfred approves of the deal, given the money exchanging hands.
Hamels, 31, and a 10-year MLB veteran, has been mentioned in trade talks for what seems to be years now. He possesses a career 3.30 ERA and has appeared in 3 All-Star games over the course of his career. Hamels, who finished 6th in the NL Cy Young Award voting last year, is 6-7 with a 3.64 ERA and a 9.6 SO/9 ratio this season.
Diekman, 28, also going to Rangers in the trade, was an above average reliever for the Phillies coming into the 2015 season, but has had multiple issues this year, carrying a 5.15 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched. Diekman has some upside and is a strikeout machine. He’s under team control until the 2019 season and is arbitration eligible next year.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies will also be sending $9.5M to the Rangers to cover some of the remaining money owed to Hamels, and they will also assume the entire Matt Harrison contract. The latter is owed $13.2M each of the following two seasons, and his contract carries a $13.25 team option for the 2018 campaign with a $2M buyout. The option aforementioned could have vested had Harrison pitched 200 innings this year, and the two following seasons, but a back injury has limited his innings count for the better part of the last three seasons.
Harrison is still a former All-Star pitcher and can be a very dangerous weapon when healthy and on point. During his best two seasons, 2011 and 2012, Harrison had a 3.34 ERA, with a 32-20 record in 399 innings pitched. He then underwent spinal fusion surgery in 2013 and hasn’t been the same ever since, mostly because the injury hasn’t given him a chance to.