By Sam Bush

Remember all those stories on sites like FASTPHILLYSPORTS.COM and others that don’t check their sources nearly as well as us that gave the impression that the Boston Red Sox not so secretly wanted to trade for Cole Hamels?

Turns out that the Sox were never in the mix when the Phillies dealt Hamels to the Texas Rangers for six players Wednesday night!

The Sox were linked to Hamels throughout the offseason and spring training even though the pitcher didn’t list them among the nine teams he could be traded to without his consent, an omission that has raised questions about whether it was ever realistic to begin with that they could’ve acquired him.

As always, the answer depends on who you ask.

Despite reports elsewhere that the Red Sox believed the no-trade clause to be a hindrance, agent John Boggs speculated that the 31-year-old lefty ultimately would have considered coming to Boston, adding that “the only reason the Red Sox were not on the approved list is he only had nine teams to put on that list.”

Asked in February by USA Today if he would consider the Sox, Hamels said, “Of course I would” and called Boston “a fun city.”

It’s possible that Hamels would have asked the Sox to exercise his $20 million option for 2019 in exchange for waiving the no-trade provision. We’ll never really know, though. Because the Sox “weren’t even in the picture,” according to a major-league source, at the end of the Hamels sweepstakes, Hamels never had to make that request.

Not being on Hamels’ trade list didn’t stop other teams from making late bids. Houston even had a deal worked out, according to USA Today, but Hamels told the Phillies he wouldn’t go there. So, it seems the Phillies, with only a few days until today’s non-waiver trade deadline, weren’t focused exclusively on the teams that were on the list, which included the Rangers, Yankees, Angels, Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers, Nationals and the Padres, his hometown team. The Giants, not on the list, also reportedly made a late push.

This much is clear: The Phillies succeeded in getting the prospect-rich return that they always wanted, in part because they agreed to pick up a portion of the $87.5 million Hamels is owed through 2018. They also agreed to take back injury-plagued lefty Matt Harrison, who has made only nine starts for Texas since 2012 and is under contract for $13.2 million in each of the next two seasons.

The Phillies also received catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and right-handers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. Thompson began the season as Texas’ No. 2 prospect, according to Baseball America, while Alfaro was ranked third and Williams fifth.


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