EX-PHILLIES ACE HAMELS PRAISES ASTROS AFTER REJECTING THEM!

By Sam Bush

So, Cole Hamels has gone from Philly to Texas, and the Lone Star media are now concentrating on the ace lefty’s curious mind, especially why he chose the Rangers over the Astros.

Hamels had plenty of praise for the Astros even though he turned down a trade to Houston a few days before the Phillies officially sent him to Arlington at the trade deadline last week.

Hamels had a no-trade clause in his contract with only nine of 29 teams as acceptable trade possibilities. He could have made an exception for the Astros, but he declined.

“It just kind of came to that sort of fruition where they just weren’t on the list,” Hamels told the Houston Chronicle Monday before the opener of a three-game series with the Astros. “They asked me, and I said, ‘No I’d like to stick with the list.’”

Hamels said he was approached about accepting a trade to the Astros “a couple of days” before the Rangers and Phillies reached a deal.

“Then from there they then tried to figure out the other teams,” he said. “It was probably one of the tougher decisions because I know they’re a great team and I know they’re going to go out and win.

“I have the utmost respect for A.J. (Hinch). I played with him when I was very young. I’ve seen what they’ve done and I think they’ve done great things. I have a four-year contract still.

“So if it was a different situation where I had a year left or a year and a half I probably would have gone. But because it is more of a longer term I had to weigh those sorts of variables for those nine teams that I had on the list.”

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