Prior to the huge trade that sent him to the Texas Rangers, lefty Cole Hamels used his no-trade clause to block a potential trade to the Houston Astros.
With the two clubs meeting up in Arlington this week for a three-game series, Hamels had an opportunity to speak about that decision on Monday. He told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle about the reasoning behind his decision to invoke the no-trade provision while making sure to compliment the Astros, as he doesn't harbor any ill will toward the organization.
As he told Ortiz, "It just kind of came to that sort of fruition where they just weren't on the list. They asked me, and I said, 'No I'd like to stick with the list.'"
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He added: "Then from there they then tried to figure out the other teams. 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."
That four-year contract, Hamels maintains, was a big part of the decision to accept a trade to the Rangers but not the Astros: "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. I didn't want to budge from that."
The Astros may have missed out on Hamels, but the veteran lefty they DID pick up is doing pretty well so far with his new club.