The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, but they may have been forced to turn down a team that was offering a better package. That team is the one that is currently eight games ahead of the Rangers in the AL West division, but Hamels blocked the trade.
That team is the Houston Astros.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, Hamels exercised his no-trade rights after the Phillies and Astros agreed to a deal. The Astros have been the biggest surprise in baseball this season, as they are currently 57-54 and leading the AL West after losing 92 games last year and more than 105 games in each of the three seasons before that.
Either Hamels simply likes one Texas city better than the other, or he believes the 48-52 Rangers have a better chance of succeeding than the young and hungry Astros.
The Astros, who are clearly looking to make a run, will now turn their attention toward other pitchers who could be on the move before Friday’s deadline, including David Price.
“A player like (Price) that would be valuable for not only the next two months, but the next three months, could probably command a pretty high premium, irrespective of what your chances are of signing him,” Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said. “We’re not ruling anything out.”
Again, I’m man enough to admit that this is a team I laughed at last year because of the way a concert was scheduled at its ballpark. This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve been wrong.