Over the past two offseasons in Philadelphia, there was always talk surrounding Cole Hamels' future and the idea of the Phillies going into rebuilding mode with Hamels as one of their few quality trade chips.
Hamels basically knew he'd be traded at some point, and that time finally came last July when he and reliever Jake Diekman were sent to Texas for a hefty package of prospects plus Matt Harrison. Now, Hamels knows he's in Texas to stay for a good while, and the stress-free offseason was welcomed by the veteran lefty.
"This is a good way to go into the season," Hamels told the Dallas Morning News over the weekend. "Last year, we understood what was going on. You are just kind of waiting for whatever the next step is. It's hard to just completely commit 100 percent to just winning. It's not easy to win and when everybody can commit to it completely, that is a good start. I think we are in a good place. It's good to know we are here for the long haul and that that everybody is committed."
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Hamels will reportedly take it easy this spring, as he and new Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail have decided on an easy approach to the season. As of now, Hamels isn't planning on pitching in any "A" games early this spring.
"I want to compete with the young guys as much as possible," Hamels said. "I want to be pushed. But if there is a point where you don't feel good, I'm old enough and experienced enough to know not to push it too hard."