The Chicago Cubs closed a deal with the Texas Rangers for starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Despite Hamels’ dismal numbers this season and a hefty paycheck, the former ace was in demand by several teams. At some point over the past week, Hamels had been linked to possible deals with the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs, and Phillies. The Yankees were thought to be on of the more serious suitors. Even the Nationals got involved with last-minute inquiries into the former Phillies World Series hero. In the end, the Cubs were the team that came through as confirmed by ESPN.
Cubs fans and Cubs beat writers have been split on whether they like this deal or not. Hamels has struggled in his last five starts. He is possibly in the middle of his worst statistical season in over a decade. His paycheck is gaudy for the production he is providing at $22.5 million this season, $20 million next season, and the buyout is even pricey at $6 million. Some of that sticker price is lessened by the Rangers eating all but $4 million of the money left on the table for this season, as per Lonestar Ball. That means Texas is sending the Cubs a cool $9 million to help make the deal happen.
Cubs fans this morning on acquiring Cole Hamels: GOD NO! HE SUCCKKKKKSSSSSSSSS
Cubs fans right now on acquiring Cole Hamels: pic.twitter.com/7zsPjMaLqH
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 26, 2018
The cost of making that happen, however, was giving up a package of what is believed to be all minor leaguers. While it is possible none of them ever see the show, this deal was as much about shedding salary for Texas as it was receiving talent. At this point, it is known that the Cubs have shipped Texas three players. Rollie Lacey is the first, the second is an unnamed player labeled “not a prospect” which tends to indicate someone on the Cubs roster, and a player to be named later. Lacey, drafted in the 11 round in 2017, has done well in A ball and is considered a prospect. Details have been oddly slim regarding who Chicago has dealt, but it is thought that to speed the deal up, the teams agreed to leave open spots as players to be named later.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 27, 2018
It has not been announced whether Hamels will pitch on Saturday to stay on his current rest schedule or not. It is believed he will take a spot in the rotation from either Mike Montgomery or Tyler Chatwood as reported by ABC. The Cubs are hoping that Hamels will post the kind off numbers he has on road games this year, away from hitter-friendly Texas, which have been good but not top of the rotation numbers. The 34-year-old Hamels was carrying a 5-9 record and a 4.72 ERA at the time of the trade.