The Phillies have traded Cole Hamels and left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to the Rangers for Matt Harrison, Jorge Alfaro, Nick WIlliams, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Alec Asher. The Phillies have been shopping Hamels since the offseason, and the Rangers appeared as front runners for the last week or so. Since Hamels was arguably the biggest pitching trade chip on the market, this move likely precedes a cascade of other trades as the teams that missed out on the lefty ace look elsewhere for help.
The Phillies received quite a haul for their long-time starter. Fangraph's Kiley McDaniel had right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson (whom the Rangers received from the Tigers in last year's Joakim Soria trade) ranked 29th at the top of the 55 FV (future value) tier. Catcher Jorge Alfaro was also in the 55 FV tier, coming in at 53rd on the list. Outfielder Nick Williams was ranked 136th in the 50 FV tier and is putting up extremely impressive numbers as a 21-year-old in Double-A. Pitchers Alec Asher (a fourth-round pick in 2012) and Jerad Eickhoff (a 15th-round pick in the 2011 draft) round out the prospect portion of the package. Also going to the Phillies is starter Matt Harrison, who has struggled to repeat the success he had in 2012 due to a series of back injuries. Harrison is under contract until 2017.
Hamels has been the definition of consistency over the past eight years, accruing between 3.6 and 4.9 WAR and throwing nearly 200 innings in every year since 2007. However, the 31-year-old starter no longer had a fit on a rebuilding Philadelphia squad. Mets fans should be happy to see such a formidable pitcher leaving the division.