The final details are still being worked out, but the Cubs are on the verge of acquiring Cole Hamels. The main asset trading hands seems to be salary relief for the Rangers, who were on the hook for $14m going forward on Hamel’s deal. Going the other way could be P Rollie Lacy (Myrtle Beach) and OF DJ Wilson (also Myrtle Beach). Or perhaps not, as there is no certainty in this world of treachery and deception.
Hamels has had a down year with the Rangers, posting a 4.72 ERA with a 5.20 FIP. His strikeout and walk rates both look pretty good and are in line with what they were in 2016, his last healthy season. He put up a 3.32 ERA and a 3.0 WAR that season. His ERA this year is hurt by an epically lousy Ranger defense, however, the Rangers defense can’t do much about his 20.7% HR/FB rate. His soft contact rate is down and his hard contact rate is up to a whopping 44.9%. Maybe Jon Lester can share whatever secret sauce he found this year with a fellow aging lefty/former ace.
The next question is where he fits into the rotation. Hopefully he gets Chatwood’s spot, and Chatwood ends up on the DL with cantpitchitis and spends the rest of the AAA season with Iowa trying to figure out his deal. My cynical self tells me it’s more likely that he takes over for Monty, and Monty takes over for Duensing in the pen. At least that would put out a smaller garbage fire on the Cubs pitching staff.