Cole Hamels came to the Phillies in 2002, wide eyed and desperate to be great.
After a World Series title, a World Series MVP, several top 10 finishes in Cy Young voting andhis final act, a brilliant no-hitter Saturday, Hamelsis officially leaving Philadelphia as one of the best pitchers in baseball.
The team will trade Hamels to the Rangers, as the ace hops from last place to a team in the midst of a Wild Card race. Reports say Hamels turned down a trade offer the Phillies desired from the Astros (he has a limited no-trade clause).
And perhaps there is one more gift he can give to Philly, the city that embraced "Hollywood" Hamelsand saw him becomea charitable member of a city that grew to love him.
At least five prospects are coming to Philly in exchange for the 31-year-old left-hander. Among these are, according to CSNPhilly'sJim Salisbury (and confirmed by various other sources), catcher Jorge Alfaro, corner outfielder Nick Williams, big hurler Jerad Eickhoff, pitcher Alec Asher and pitcher Jake Thompson.
Four of these players are rated in the top 13 in Rangers prospects,(Thompson No. 2,Alfaro No. 3, Williams No. 5 according to Baseball America).
Reports also confirm that Jake Diekman, a potent reliever for Philly is heading to Texas and veteran lefty pitcher is coming to the Phillies.
"It's sad when you're around one of your teammates for a long time and then they have to go away," Carlos Ruiz, the man whose caught Hamels for the last half-dozen seasons, said after the Phillies' 8-2 loss to the Blue Jays Wednesday night.
It is expected that there will also be cash being exchanged in the deal.
Hamels finishes his career in red pinstripes fourth all time in left-handed wins with 114.
Questions of what could have been echo in the minds of many Phillies fans, who arehopeful his return will springboard the team into it's next winning era. They are now left with memories of No. 35.
"The onething I cannot wait to do is go down Broad Street again and again," Hamels told screaming fans after the 2008 World Series parade.
The five prospects provide unknown assets to the Phillies while Harrison, who is still due $39.6 million over three seasons, won 14 games in 2011 and 18 in 2012. His most recent three campaigns were riddled with injury. But he will, thankfully, slide into a pitching rotation that is ailing and needing veteran arms.
Hamelshopes for more run support in Texas. In Philly, he was 101-15 with three or more runs. As fans know, three runs has been hard to come by in recent seasons.
Alec Asher (Triple-A pitcher)
3-6, 4.73 ERA, 54 K, 19 BB in 64.2 IP
Jerad Eickhoff(Triple-A pitcher)
8-4, 4.47 ERA, 90K, 33 BB in 96.2 IP
Nick Williams (Double-A outfielder)
.300 BA, 13 HR, 45 RBI in 96 games
Jorge Alfaro (Double-A catcher)
.253 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI in 49 games
Jake Thompson (Double-A pitcher)
6-6, 4.72 ERA, 78 K, 30 BB in 87.2 IP
Matt Harrison (with the Rangers)
1-2, 6.75 ERA, has only pitched three times since returning from a back injury that sidelined him for 13 months.