In the middle of the 2015 season, the Texas Rangers landed pitcher Cole Hamels in a blockbuster deal that really was a tough call to make for Cole Hamels, who had the option to veto the trade and stay in Philadelphia where he had spent his entire career.
“It’s a very difficult process and (I wanted) to make a very good decision because of the case I was in,” Hamels said at Rangers spring training in Surprise, Arizona. “It’s not just me and my baseball career anymore. I have a family.”
With the left-hander under contract through the 2020 season, the decision for Hamels would impact his family’s future for a long time.
“I still had a lot of years left,” Hamels said. “I didn’t have that sort of one year or year and a half left (in my contract). This was a big decision because this was a big chunk of time.”
Hamels had spent the previous eight seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, including the 2008 season that ended with a World Series championship in which Hamels was named MVP.
“You have a legacy you might be leaving and you have to start back over with a new team,” Hamels said of his difficult decision. “But to come over here to Texas was the direction we really wanted to come. We thought it would be the best for not only my career, but also my family.”
Hamels described the Rangers as “a great organization that is really run very efficiently” and believes having a Spring Training with his teammates in Surprise for the first time will make a big impact on his ability to perform in 2016.
That, plus the fact he and his family are enjoying living in North Texas.
“When we found out, we were very excited to hear (Texas) was the place we were going.”