Philadelphia Phillies left-handed starter Cole Hamels was pulled off waivers Friday afternoon.

The Chicago Cubs claimed Hamels on Wednesday and the two teams had 48 hours to complete a trade. The Cubs and Phillies were unable to strike a deal by the deadline so Hamels was pulled off waivers.

Players can only be exposed to waivers once, so the Phillies cannot trade Hamels until after the season is over.

The Cubs would like to add an elite starting pitcher to their staff since they dealt right-hander Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland A's. However, the Cubs reportedly prefer to add pitching via free agency so they do not have to give up top prospects while paying for a huge salary.

Hamels has more than four years left on his six-year, $144 million contract. He is 6-6 with a 2.42 ERA this season. He has 139 strikeouts and 40 walks in 137 1/3 innings.

The Phillies were seeking top prospects in exchange for Hamels.

Chicago is expected to go after pitchers Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, who will be free agents this winter.

Philadelphia recently traded right-hander Roberto Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named later after he was claimed off waivers.

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon recently cleared waivers. Speculation is that his $13 million salary over the next two seasons scared teams off.