Cole Hamels is gone. He departed in a fashion as dramatic and timely as any exit in Philadelphia sports history.
The question all along was not when but for whom. The answer is troubling. On first glance it appears to me Sam Hinkie was advising the Phils' alleged brain trust.
First of all, around these parts we are quite familiar with the whole notion of phenoms and how they turn out. Witness Dom Brown. So, when I read the Phils acquired the Rangers' number 3,4 and 5 most highly rated prospects I wonder about numbers 1 and 2. Of course prospect number 99 might turn out to have the best major league career (though doubtful) but once we dig deeper we learn that at least one of these highly regarded players, a young catcher, recently suffered a season-ending ankle injury, not the short of injury you want to see in a guy who squats for a living. Moreover, he isn't much of a hitter and some observers have noted he doesn't like to put in the work to improve. Great.
Reading a little deeper we realize that the Phils also threw Jake Diekman into the deal and received among others a 29-year old pitcher with a history of back trouble. The Hinkie hand is written all over these choices.
The worst part of this deal is that the Phils did not demand let alone receive either of the Rangers' top prospects. Ruben Amaro's hand is written all over these non choices.
This is a deal whose ramifications will not be fully appreciated for another few years, but on the surface it looks like the Phils are rebuilding their farm system...but not their major league team.