PHILADELPHIA — After years of trade speculation, Cole Hamels’ time in Philadelphia is ending.
Two people familiar with the deal say the Phillies have agreed to trade the ace left-hander to the Texas Rangers for a package of prospects.
Both people spoke to The Associated Press late Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized. Hamels has a limited no-trade clause but does not have to approve a deal to the Rangers.
Hamels would become the first pitcher in major league history traded during a season immediately after throwing a no-hitter — he no-hit the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
“He’s definitely a great pitcher,” Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said after Texas beat the New York Yankees 5-2 Wednesday. “Obviously watched the no-hitter the other day, pretty impressive. He’s got a long track record of great success. It will be huge for us.”
The 2008 World Series MVP was an integral part of the greatest run in franchise history when the Phillies won five straight NL East titles, two pennants and one World Series from 2007-11.
“He’s been here a long time, but that’s baseball,” Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said following an 8-2 loss at Toronto. “Definitely it’s sad when you’re around one of your teammates for a long time and then they have to go away.”
The rebuilding Phillies, a big league-worst 38-64, traded All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon to Washington on Tuesday. Both players made it clear they wanted to play for contenders.
Texas is seven games behind AL West-leading Houston and four games behind Minnesota for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
There was thought the Phillies might wait to move Hamels in the offseason after recently hired executive Andy MacPhail officially replaces Pat Gillick, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. pulled the trigger with MacPhail’s input.
Hamels was 114-90 with a 3.30 ERA in 10 seasons in Philadelphia. He went 7-4 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 postseason starts and also earned MVP honors in the ‘08 NLCS.
Hamels has three years remaining in a $144 million, six-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2019.
He’s owed $22.5 million per year through 2018 with a club option for 2019 at $20 million or a $6 million buyout. His option becomes guaranteed at $24 million if he throws 400 innings or more in 2017-18, including at least 200 in 2018, and isn’t on the disabled list at end of 2018 with left shoulder or elbow injury.
Dodgers acquire Latos from Marlins in 3-team deal
ATLANTA — The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff on the eve of the trade deadline Thursday, completing a 13-player deal with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins that sent two starters and two relievers to the NL West leader.
Clinging to a half-game leader over San Francisco, the Dodgers acquiring right-hander Mat Latos from the Marlins and left-hander Alex Wood from the Braves, two pitchers who can move right into the rotation behind aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Also, Los Angeles obtained relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from Atlanta, adding needed depth to the bullpen.
The rebuilding Braves kept up their massive overhaul, also surrendering top infield prospect Jose Peraza to the Dodgers largely to land 30-year-old Cuban defector Hector Olivera, who has impressed in the minors since signing a $62.5 million, six-year deal with Los Angeles this year.
As for the Marlins, it was another familiar salary dump. Out of contention in the NL East, Miami rid itself of Matos and first baseman Michael Morse for three minor leaguers.
The complicated deal worked like this:
— The Dodgers got Wood (7-6, 3.54 ERA), Johnson (2-3, 2.25, nine saves), Avilan (2-4, 3.58), Peraza (.294 with 26 stolen bases for Triple-A Gwinnett) and pitcher Bronson Arroyo from the Braves, along with Latos (4-7, 4.48), Morse (.214, four homers, 12 RBIs) and cash considerations from the Marlins. Arroyo is coming back from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched this season.
— Atlanta received Olivera, who is hitting a combined .348 with two homers and seven RBIs in 19 games at three different levels of the Dodgers’ farm system this season, along with injured left-hander Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird, a right-handed pitcher.
— Miami acquired minor league right-handers Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo from the Dodgers, none of whom has pitched above Class A.
The deadline for making non-waiver trades is 4 p.m. EDT Friday, and the Braves may not be done.
Last week, they dealt third baseman Juan Uribe and outfielder Kelly Johnson to the Mets for minor leaguers, having given up on contending for a playoff spot this season while trying to rebuild for the move to their new suburban stadium in 2017.
Outfielders Cameron Maybin and Jonny Gomes could be the next to go.
Pirates get RH Joakim Soria from Tigers for minor leaguer
CINCINNATI — The Pirates have made another move to upgrade their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Joakim Soria from the Tigers for a minor leaguer.
The 31-year-old Soria was 3-1 with 23 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 43 appearances with Detroit this season. He didn’t allow a run in 13 of his last 14 appearances. The deal was made a few hours after the Pirates got versatile reliever Joe Blanton from Kansas City for cash.
Pittsburgh gave up infielder JaCoby Jones.
The Tigers also dealt away All-Star left-hander David Price to Toronto earlier Thursday.
Gomez traded to Astros after Mets deal falls through
HOUSTON — The Astros have added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Houston, which also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal, sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a trade fell through Wednesday that would have sent Gomez to the New York Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler.
The 29-year-old Gomez is hitting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers this season. He is making $8 million this season and $9 million in 2016, then can become a free agent.
Gomez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off a career-best season last year, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 34 steals.
Fiers is 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts for Milwaukee this season. He has 121 strikeouts in 118 innings this season. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season.