Gearing up for another October run, the Chicago Cubs made a big move Thursday night, acquiring veteran lefty Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.
Chicago desperately needed to add a starting pitcher as the club seeks its fourth consecutive trip to the postseason. Yu Darvish, signed to six-year, $126 million deal in the offseason, has only made nine starts this season. Tyler Chatwood was another winter addition – for $38 million – and has a 4.84 ERA in 18 starts, with 85 walks – 37 more than any other NL starter.
Hamels, 34, is having the worst season of his career – 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts – but has plenty of playoff experience. In 16 career postseason starts, 13 of them with the Phillies, he has a 3.48 ERA.
Hamels was the MVP of the 2008 NLCS and World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Rangers are expected to send a significant amount of cash to the Cubs to offset the $8 million or so remaining on Hamels’ $22.5 million salary for 2018 – along with a $6 million buyout of a 2019 option.