Wow! The Rangers and Phillies pull off a 8 man trade. The deal was reported by Fox Sports Jon Morosi. The Rangers get veteran lefty Cole Hamels, flamethrower Jake Diekman and cash. Everyone is going nuts on the Rangers part, but the Phillies landed gold. Hamels will help that rotation out big time and next year look out for the Rangers with Yu Darvish coming back. That is a nasty 1-2 punch in Arlington. Diekman adds firepower in the back end of the bullpen. Diekman has struggled this year, but he had a good 2014 season. Diekman this season has a 5.15 ERA, 49 Ks in 36.2 innings. Last season he set a career high 100 Ks. Cole Hamels was on the worst team in baseball and pitched well on that team. Hamels has a 6-7 record with 137 Ks, 39 walks, a 3.64 ERA in 128.2 innings pitched. Hamels alone this season will try to lead the Rangers to the second wild card spot.
Next, The Phillies landed veteran Matt Harrison, prospects Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and Jake Thompson. Alfaro is the Rangers 6th overall prospect and best catcher in the minors. Alfaro is a good young hitter and very good defensively. He is the future catcher for the Phillies. The 22 year old catcher is currently at Double-A, but can find himself at Triple-A in a couple of weeks. Alfaro is hitting .253 with 5 homers and 21 RBIs. He has thrown out 28% of his runners. He will remain a catcher and not be required to switch positions. Alfaro was the second best catching prospect in baseball. Asher has been up and down this season and is currently at Triple-A. Asher needs to find his form if he wants to be a valuable starter for the Phillies for years to come. Asher is a starter that has pitched himself to a 3-6 record with a 4.73 ERA on 64.2 innings and has struck out 54 batters. Asher is 23. He has progressed fast thru the minors, but has hit a bump in the road at Triple-A. He was the Rangers 29th prospect. Matt Harrison at one point was a dominant lefty then ran into injuries and is back. Harrison is good for the Phillies because he is a stop gap player. That means he will be in the rotation for 2 years until the prospects are ready. Harrison this season has pitched in 3 games with a 1-2 record and has a ugly ERA of 6.75. He is still getting the cobwebs out after returning from a nasty spinal problem. Harrison has struck out 5 batters and walked 6 in 16 innings. If healthy this could be a nice piece in the rotation. My favorite piece in the deal is outfielder Nick Williams. Williams has killed the baseball all over the minor leagues. He is at Double-A, but with the way he is playing he could be up in Triple-A in a week or 2. Williams is currently hitting .300 with 13 dingers and 45 RBIs. He also has 10 stolen bases and 113 hits. Williams is only 21 and was the Rangers 5th overall prospect. Jerad Eickhoff is a starter and was the Rangers 17th prospect. Eickhoff is 25 and is at Triple-A. He has a record of 8-4 with 90 Ks and a 4.47 ERA in 96.2 innings. He can be a future number 3 in the Phillies rotation. Eickhoff is enormous. He is 6’4″ 240 pounds. He has a fastball that can reach 97, but is more around 93-95 mph and has a hard breaking curve with a changeup developing. His slider is decent, but needs work also. Last, Jake Thompson was the Rangers 2nd best pitching prospect and was ranked 4th. Thompson is a ground ball pitcher that can have his fastball reach up to 95 mph and also has a good slider, but his best two pitches are his changeup and curve. Those two pitches give him the best chance. Use the fastball to set up the changeup or curve. Thompson also has a chance to becomes the Phillies number 2 starter in the future. Jake is 21 and is currently at Double-A. Jake has pitched decent, but has some really solid outings. He is 6-6 on the year on 87.2 innings with punching out 78 and owning a 4.72 ERA.
However, the Rangers will be competing for years to come and the Rangers did the right move, but at the end of the deal the Phillies will win this deal because 3 out of the 5 prospects will be multi time all-stars in the MLB (Thompson, Williams, Alfaro) and Eickhoff will be a solid contributor, but won’t be nothing more than a solid number 3 or 4 and asher is the wild card. He might be a good number 5, but could be used in the pen. Also, because the Phillies are setting them self up for the future and that future looks bright.
Stats from Baseball-Reference.com and MILB.com