Source: Trade of Cole Hamels to Texas Rangers to be announced Fr
Source: Trade of Cole Hamels to Texas Rangers to be announced Fr

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ARLINGTON – Christmas came in July for the Rangers on Thursday.

And they were very happy to find a lump of Cole in their stockings.

Nearly 24 hours after agreeing to a blockbuster deal that will bring Cole Hamels to Texas at least through 2018, all that stood in the way of an announcement was a little final administrative paperwork, according to a major league source. An announcement is expected on Friday.

The blockbuster deal sends Hamels and lefty reliever Jake Diekman to Texas for a package of five prospects: Outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitchers Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher. The Rangers will also receive approximately $9.5 million in cash.

Also going to Philadelphia: Left handed starter Matt Harrison, who only returned from lower lumbar spinal fusion surgery three weeks ago. The inclusion of Harrison, who is owed approximately $34 million through 2017 and the insurance policy that returned 75 percent of his salary to the Rangers after he went down with a back injury last year, likely led to some of the delay in being able to formally announce the deal.

Hamels, 31, is guaranteed at least $81 million through 2018, but his contract also includes an option for 2019.

Hamels, who has finished in the top six in the NL Cy Young Award voting three times, gives the Rangers a legitimate ace to front the rotation for the rest of the year. Hamels is 6-7 this season with a 3.64 ERA, but is coming off a 129-pitch no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs last Saturday. He is expected to make his Rangers debut Saturday against San Francisco.

Hamels has pitched at least 200 innings in six of the last seven seasons with the lone exception being a 193-inning season in 2009. He has 112 outings of at least seven innings since 2010. Only Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw have more in the same time frame.

Source: MLB approves trade of Cole Hamels to Texas Rangers, will be announced Friday

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