4-time All-Star, World Series MVP Hamels retires

August 4th, 2023

has called it a career.

The left-hander who spent 15 years in the Majors and was one of the best starting pitchers of his generation was placed on the voluntarily retired list Friday by the Padres, with whom he signed a Minor League deal in February.

Hamels, 39, racked up 163 wins, 2,560 strikeouts and a 3.43 ERA while with the Phillies, Rangers, Cubs and Braves. He is one of 46 pitchers to throw at least 2,000 innings since 2000, and his 123 ERA+ is tied for seventh-best among that group. The names in front of him are elite: Clayton Kershaw, Johan Santana, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.

Hamels spent the first decade of his career with the Phillies, who selected him with the No. 17 pick in the 2002 Draft. He debuted in '06, made his first of four All-Star teams in '07 and was the unquestioned ace of the staff as a 24-year-old by '08.

He almost single-handedly carried Philadelphia to a World Series title that season as he was named MVP of both the National League Championship Series and the World Series. He started both the opening and clinching games in each series and recorded a 1.80 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and a 30-to-9 K/BB ratio over 35 playoff innings that year.

Hamels finished inside the top 10 in Cy Young Award voting four times during his career, including in 2015, when he was traded from the Phillies to the Rangers. But six days before that July 31 deal, Hamels put forth one of the best performances by any Phillies pitcher in his final start with the club: a 13-strikeout no-hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Hamels concluded his 10 years in Philadelphia with a 3.30 ERA over 1,930 innings. He owns the sixth-most wins in franchise history (114) and the third-most strikeouts (1,844) trailing only Hall of Famers Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts.

Hamels was a member of the Rangers’ division-winning clubs in 2015 and ‘16. In that latter year, he garnered his final All-Star selection while registering 200 strikeouts across 200 2/3 innings. Hamels completed five seasons with at least 200 K’s and eight seasons with at least 200 innings pitched.

He was dealt to the Cubs in the summer of 2018 and made 39 starts for Chicago, producing a 3.30 ERA through the end of the ‘19 season. His last big league stop came in Atlanta, where he made one start for the Braves in 2020. All but one of Hamels’ 423 appearances on a Major League mound came as a starting pitcher.