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Rangers get rotation help in Hamels

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Hamels to Rangers

ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe discusses the trade that reportedly sends pitcher Cole Hamels to Texas and whether he thinks that the Rangers are contenders this season.

Cole Hamels is on his way to Texas, as the Texas Rangers traded for the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher on Wednesday. Hamels is a much-needed arm that the Rangers will control for years to come.

The 31-year old Hamels has $67.5 million remaining on his contract through 2018 ($23.5 million this season), with a $20 million club option or $6 million buyout in 2019.

What he brings to Texas

Since going to the World Series in 2012, the

Rangers have used 27 different starting pitchers in the past three seasons, the most of any team in the American League.

This season, their starting rotation has a 4.43 ERA, which ranks 25th in baseball. Their strikeout percentage of 15.2 is a league-worst.

Hamels will provide some much-needed help to that rotation. Over the past six seasons, Hamels’ 3.07 ERA is the fourth-best in baseball, 1.13 WHIP is fifth-best and .234 opponent BA is sixth-best, among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched.

Hamels is one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in Phillies franchise history. His 114 wins are the fourth-most, behind Steve Carlton (241), Chris Short (132) and Curt Simmons (115).

An above-average pitcher

Hamels has qualified for the ERA title in every season since 2007. Since then, he has posted an ERA+ over 100 in 8 seasons, including this year (ERA+ is ERA measured against the league average and adjusted for ballpark factors -- average is 100). Only Felix Hernandez has more such seasons in that span.

Elias Sports Bureau: Did you know?

Hamels is the second pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to throw a no-hitter in his final game with a team, after doing so less than a week ago against the Cubs.

Bert Blyleven is the other pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his final game with a team. He no-hit the Angels as a member of the Rangers on Sept. 22, 1977, then began the 1978 season with the Pirates.