Cole now a Cub. 105 comments

Almost exactly three years after being traded to the Rangers, Cole Hamels learns mid-game his has been dealt to the Cubs. His teammates are seen here saying, “Take us with you, please.”


The Cole Hamels era is over. And by most accounts, it was a successful one, his last four starts notwithstanding.

But when you speak of pitching on a franchise like Texas, just being able to get the ball to the plate puts you among the elite tier.

If nothing else, Cole Hamels single-handedly dragged the Rangers from a last-place finish to the division crown in 2015. He even won the A.L. Manager of the Year award, although they ended up engraving Jeff Banister’s name on it.

The Rangers were coming off a five-game losing streak in early July, and a couple three-game losing streaks after that. They were eight games out of first place, in third, but just three games out of last place, when Jon Daniels finally pulled the trigger on a long-rumored trade for Cole Hamels.

And then, like in every baseball movie where they cut to the standings and the team keeps magically going up and up and up, the Rangers kept magically going up and up and up.

Sure, it wasn’t solely Cole Hamels—if you recall the Rangers got Jake Diekman in that deal, they also, finally, mercifully sent Tanner Scheppers down, they finally benched Leonys Martin, and the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels, both tied atop the West, choked.

But without Cole Hamels, this team that nearly lost 100 games the season before was headed to mediocrity again.

He left his first Rangers start with a lead, but ghosts are hard to shake, and Tanner Scheppers blew the save.

He lost his second start, 4-3.

Then Cole Hamels kicked in. The Rangers won his final ten starts. He was 7-1 as a Ranger in 2015.

No win was greater than the last one.

After chasing down and catching both the Angels and the Astros on Septembrer 15, making up an impressive eight-game deficit, the Rangers pitching was out of gas.

Heading into Game 161 of the season, they clung to a two-game lead over Houston. A win over the Angels and the division crown is theirs.

Up 10-6 going into the ninth, the cracks in the Rangers pitching façade were just too great to overcome.

Colby Lewis could make it through just four innings. Desperate, Jeff Banister started a parade of relievers. Overkill really. Overkill on an already overworked pen. He brought in eight relievers it was all said and done. Eight, for five innings of work. Three alone in that disastrous final inning.

The Rangers gave up five in the top of the ninth to lose 11-10, and it was Full Nail Biting Mode. Texas went into the final day of the season up just one game over the Astros.

They needed a win. They had no bullpen.

But Cole Hamels was on the mound.

All he did was pitch a complete-game three-hit gem, winning 9-2, carrying his team to the division crown, landing his manager the MOY hardware, and authoring one of the most important starts in Rangers franchise history.

That’s the Cole Hamels I remember. You really can’t ask any more of a pitcher.

He is now a Cub. He cleaned out his locker in the Ballpark last night during the Rangers 7-6 loss to Oakland, being swept in four game. He goes from last-place to first. He is headed to the post-season once again.

T.R. Sullivan, who covers the Rangers for, reports that the Cubs are sending Texas Class A right-handed pitcher Rollie Lacy, along with a second low-level pitcher, and a player to be named later. He explained that an official announcement has been delayed because Major League Baseball has not yet approved the financial ramifications of the deal, as the Rangers are picking up a significant portion of the $14 million minimum left on Hamels’s contract.

So long, Cole. Loved having you here. Good luck in Chicago.

Oh, and thanks for the Division Crown. And the one the year after that. We won’t be seeing any of those any time soon.

And Jeff Banister says thanks for his trophy. He, too, won’t be seeing another one of those.


Yovani Gallardo (4-2, 7.18) vs. Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.53)
Game time: 7:10

How the Rangers hit against Keuchel.
How the Astros hit against Gallardo.