The Texas Rangers are without question excited about their new teammate in Cole Hamels, and it was evident in the way they played the last two nights as they scored back-to-back home wins for the first time in more than a month.
But there's a negative to a trade like this, too, and it's the fact you lose a teammate in the rare case of swapping big-leaguer for big-leaguer in this age of prospects often being all that is moved from the "buying" team.
The Rangers lost Matt Harrison in the deal, as he left Wednesday's game before it ended and was told not to come to Globe Life Park on Thursday. The absence sent some shockwaves through the room, particularly with guys who came up in the system with Harrison.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus and Harrison were a part of the big Mark Teixeira trade in 2007 that sent the Rangers Andrus, Harrison and Neftali Feliz, as well as other prospects.
“He was like my brother. We came here together from the Braves,” Andrus told the Star-Telegram. “We went through so many good times here in Texas. I’m really sad he got traded but I wish him the best of luck. It was a shock for sure. I just hope he stays healthy. He’s a great person.”
That seemed to be the consensus from his now-former teammates, who raved about Harrison as a person and praised his wortk ethic for coming back from a spinal fusion surgery — the first pitcher in MLB history to return from such a surgery. He was given a 20 percent chance to pitch again by doctors, but returned earlier this month from a 14-month layoff.
“He inspired everybody, not only people in baseball but in life,” catcher Robinson Chirinos said. “Doctors said it was impossible but God gave him another chance to come back and pitch.”