From the outside, it might look a little weird that the Cole Hamels deal has been "in place" for over a day now, with still no official word. The team's web site spins the delayed deal as "on track." Jayson Stark is a mite flummoxed, certainly. No word on what any of the "anonymous NL execs" with whom he's been sitting in an empty, windowless room for the last week think about the matter.
But, as Rangers beat writer Evan Grant laid out pretty clearly, this isn't that weird. While medical reviews and paper work are one hold-up, there is a facet of the deal that is distinct: Matt Harrison's back.
"There is one other twist that makes poring closely over contract language a real task in this deal. The Rangers are believed to be transferring the insurance policy they hold on Harrison's back to Philadelphia. That involves a third party outside of MLB's purview. The policy called for the Rangers to receive 75 percent of Harrison's salary (after he was out a certain number of days) as part of their claim."
But never fear, the deal is supposed to be announced today regardless, Grant reports. So it's not weird.
I mean, it might feel weird for some people. Like for instance, Jake Diekman, who, despite being a part of the trade, still suited up in a full Phillies uniform and had to sit in the bullpen last night, knowing he wouldn't be used.
Jake Diekman is in the phillies bullpen. Doubt he sees any work as trade details continue to be worked out— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) July 30, 2015
What did fans say to Diekman out in bullpen? "They asked where Papelbon was a lot." #Phillies— Stephen Gross (@SteveGrossMCall) July 31, 2015
Jake Diekman is making the slow walk back to the clubhouse now from the bullpen. By himself. This is kind of sad.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) July 31, 2015
The 28-year-old is being forced to move to Texas and leave behind his friends and teammates (he lives in South Jersey with Justin De Fratus). At one point, it looked like things were finally moving, as a man in a suit got up and went to the Phillies bullpen and Diekman disappeared for a while. But, no.
Cole Hamels, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen. But Pete Mackanin explained away his absence.
Mackanin said he didn't know if Hamels showed up today. "He might've been lurking in the shadows somewhere." #Phillies— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) July 31, 2015
For a totally not-weird situation, the Phillies just don't know how to not be weirdos.
[Dodges out of the way as Cole Hamels, who was hanging upside down in the shadows this whole time, suddenly flaps his leathery wings and flies off into the night to stalk prey with his blood red eyes.]
Heh heh, look out Texas jackrabbits, there's a new predator on the prowl.