The Cole Hamels tenure in Texas has a lot of similarities with the Cliff Lee acquisition in 2010 before the Rangers went on to win the first series in postseason history and went all the way to the World Series that year.
Then, as quickly as the Rangers had themselves a true blue ace, he was gone.
Now, they got another one at the trade deadline this year, but there's a big difference — Hamels is here to stay for a while, possibly up to four more years.
Hamels said he's excited about the future, especially after he saw what the team has — some things he was aware of, and others that took him by surprise.
"I better understand what we have here," Hamels told the Dallas Morning News. "We have a lot more young guys that are ready than I knew. We have Yu Darvish coming back. We have Adrian Beltre, hopefully at 100 percent next year. You get the feeling that there is a great team in here.
"You have guys who know how to play, and there is a relentlessness. They play through injuries. They fight through things. They don't stop. It's special, and it's also very rare."
Hamels added that he's excited to see Yu Darvish get back into the fold after missing all of 2015 following Tommy John surgery. He's expected to return some time in the first half of the 2016 season.
"It's going to bring back some good memories of when I was fortunate enough to pitch with Halladay and Cliff Lee," Hamels said. "It's nice to be able to pitch with guys that you can have friendly competitions with."
"That's what you want to be able to have. You want to have somebody that's your equal, who can push you to get to a higher level."