Updated at 12:00 p.m. Friday: The trade is now official.
COLE HAMELS was nowhere to be found yesterday at Citizens Bank Park, but the other lefthander who is headed for a new team had to go through the awkward stage of suiting up for a team he didn't believe he'd ever be playing for the night before.
Jake Diekman packed the Phillies travel bag next to his locker with his baseball equipment, shook the hands of the few players still meandering in the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park and walked out the door at 10:32 p.m. last night.
It had been more than 24 hours since he received the most jarring news of his professional career: that he had been a part of a trade that is sending Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers.
Except the trade was oddly never made official Thursday. And so Diekman dressed less than an hour before game time and was first seen at the ballpark playing catch with Domonic Brown before the beginning of the first inning against the Atlanta Braves.
"I don't know if I feel anything right now," Diekman said before leaving last night. "Until something happens, I'm still here, I'm still a Phillie. I was a Phillie when I woke up, I was a Phillie during the entire game."
How much did he end up sleeping Wednesday night?
"Not one bit," Diekman said.
The holdup in the Phillies-Rangers trade is unknown, but according to baseball sources, it has nothing to do with any of the physical exams of the six players coming from Texas. But the fact that eight players had to take physicals could have surely accounted for a large chunk of time yesterday.
But more than 24 hours?
All trades must be approved by the commissioner's office. Perhaps the significant dollars that are exchanging hands - Foxsports.com reported that the Phillies are set to send $10 million to the Rangers in the deal - is slowing the process. Or maybe that dollar figure hadn't been agreed upon.
What we do know, and what was reported late Wednesday night, following the Phillies two-game series in Toronto, was Hamels, Diekman and cash were headed to Texas for oft-injured pitcher Matt Harrison and five prospects: outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and righthanders Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher.
Diekman was blindsided by the news when he returned to his locker at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night.
"I walk in and three of my buddies texted me," Diekman said. "Like, 'congrats' and stuff. And then I check online. And it's all over."
But then, Diekman said, he arrived in Philadelphia and heard nothing. He wasn't notified of anything. The only instructions he received came from the coaching staff, telling him he would only be used in last night's game in an "emergency" situation.
That never came. Instead he sat in the bullpen with his soon-to-be ex-teammates.
"It sucked," Diekman said. "This could be the last time I walk in here. I have no idea. Just sitting out there thinking about it sucked."
Diekman admitted moving to a new team could be a good opportunity for his career. After sporting a 3.80 ERA and striking out 100 batters in 73 appearances last year, the 28-year-old lefthander took a 5.15 ERA into last night's game.
Still, if given the choice, Diekman seemed like he would prefer to get back on track for the only organization he's ever known. He was drafted by the Phillies in the 30th round in 2007.
"Leaving here would suck - I've been here for nine years," he said. "I've been here a while."
After experiencing the weirdest 24 hours of his life, Diekman should receive some clarity today. The major league baseball trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m.
As for Hamels - did he make a cameo in the dugout during last night's game?
"I didn't see him," manager Pete Mackanin said after the game. "But he could have been lurking in the shadows somewhere."