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Phillies, Rangers finalizing trade for Cole Hamels, ending Red Sox trade saga

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That's another too-long trade saga in the books for the Red Sox.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers and Phillies are reportedly in the final stages of completing a trade that will send Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to Texas in exchange for Jared Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Alec Asher, Jorge Alfaro, and Matt Harisson, The Rangers will also receive some amount of money in the deal, which was first reported by Jon Morosi.

It's hard not to look at that return and not think it looks awfully...light. Nick Williams is putting together a nice year in Double-A Frisco, and Jorge Alfaro was a consensus top-100 prospect before the year started, creeping up into top-50 territory for many, while Eickhoff and Asher isn't much to look at. Ken Rosenthal has said there are other players involved, however, which means there might be another shoe to drop here.

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UPDATE: Evan Grant has the whole thing, with Jake Thompson the missing name.

That makes the return somewhat more significant, but it's certainly a far cry from what Philadelphia seemed to want from the Sox in March.

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For now, then, it doesn't make much sense to ask if this is an offer the Red Sox should have beaten. Only to say that it is one they did not, and that the too-long Hamels to Boston saga is finally at an end. Given that Hamels went to a sub-.500 team in Texas, it does stand to reason that the Sox did not miss out on Hamels due to the current state of the team, but there's plenty of reasons why this might not have happened on both sides of the fence.

Hell, the man on the other end of the phone line is Ruben Amaro Jr. Maybe he thinks Nick Williams is better than Mookie Betts.

Either way, with Hamels gone, the question still remains of who will lead this team's rotation in 2016. They clearly can't go into next year with the bunch they have now, and the question is no longer one of quantity, but quality. The Red Sox have back-end arms for days, but few at the top, especially with Clay Buchholz' long layoff. Not for nothing, but he doesn't tend to follow those up terribly well.

Whether it's in free agency or with a different big trade for a controlled arm, the Red Sox only know now that Hamels will not be the man to fill that role. It's time for them, and us, and everyone else who may have been in that race to move along.