Phillies lose Cole Hamels to the Dodgers

Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Cole Hamels will sign with the Dodgers, not the Phillies.

This one stings: the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to signing former Philadelphia Phillies World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

After Dave Dombrowski’s comments earlier this week that a reunion with Hamels was a “longshot,” news broke on Wednesday morning that the veteran starter would, indeed, be donning a different uniform:

Hamels will join a pitching staff full of veteran stars, including Clayton Kershaw, David Price, and the newly acquired Max Scherzer. That’s a lot of Cy Young and postseason power.

But the Dodgers have also been without Dustin May, Kershaw, and Tony Gonsolin for all or part of the season due to injuries and Tommy John surgery (May). They also are without Trevor Bauer, as he continues to be investigated for sexual assault and domestic violence, and has been on administrative leave since late June.

Due to their various pitching issues, the defending world champions have made some serious upgrades this season, including snagging Albert Pujols from the Los Angeles Angels, and trading for Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals.

Related Story. Phillies: Scherzer leaving the NL East is a huge win. light

Hamels is obviously a bigger question mark than Scherzer, since the former has only pitched in one big-league game in 2020. The Dodgers are clearly trying anything and everything to keep up with the San Francisco Giants, who may edge them out of a division title for the first time since 2012. Los Angeles is currently 3.5 games behind them in the NL West, and since the trade deadline has passed, signing Hamels is one of the few moves they can still make.

During his decade with the Phillies, the homegrown Hamels posted a 3.30 ERA over 423 games, with 2,560 strikeouts over 2,698 innings. He represented the Phillies at three All-Star games and was their 2008 World Series MVP.

In 2015, the Phillies traded Hamels to the Texas Rangers a week after his no-hitter, but he found success in the Lone Star State, too, including another All-Star season in 2016. He replicated his 3.30 ERA over two seasons with the Chicago Cubs in 2018-2019, before signing with the Atlanta Braves ahead of the 2020 season. Unfortunately, injury limited him to one game last year.

Hamels is one of the rare homegrown pitcher success stories the Phillies have over the last two decades, and bringing him back would have been great from a nostalgia standpoint, at the very least. However, if Hamels struggles with the Dodgers, the Phillies might be glad they didn’t bring him back just to tarnish his legacy here.

We won’t know how big of a loss this is for the Phillies until after the fact, but seeing their former World Series MVP go to a team that has been so successful every year of the last decade has to hurt, especially since the Phillies have not been above .500 once since their last division title in 2011.

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