Cole Hamels of the Cubs?
When the Cubs acquired Hamels last month for minor league chaff there was no risk involved. The deal included cash to cover a buyout if the Cubs decided they didn't want Hamels next season but after a lackluster showing in Texas this year, he's making a strong case to remain with in Chicago beyond this season.
Hamels has gone at least 7 innings in 3 of his 5 starts and is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA and has provided a much-needed spark to a struggling rotation.
He's owed $20,000,000 next season, but is keeping him the smart play? He'll be 35 years old and the Cubs have already committed $60,000,000 to old or inept pitchers in Lester, Darvish and Chumpwood next year so Hamels' salary may be a little too pricey for them.
- Lonesome RhodesLv 62 years agoFavorite Answer
I like gibbs' idea but the problem with buying him out and letting him test the waters is that he may opt to sign elsewhere.
If you look at the list of potential free agent starting pitchers for next year the only one who stands out is Dallas Keuchel, and he's nowhere near the pitcher he was when he won the Cy Young back in 2015.
With the money they got in the deal, Hamels will cost the Cubs $14M next year so I'd hang onto him and hope that he continues to pitch reasonably well. Starting pitcher is a real problem for the Cubs, given Epstein's recent free agent signings, and I'd rather the Cubs keep Hamels than add a JA Happ, Matt Harvey, or Lance Lynn.
- 18 gibbs 20Lv 72 years ago
Let him go free agency and see what the going rate is. I have to believe it will be less than 20 mill.
- findinglifeoddLv 42 years ago
I'm a Rangers fan, and kinda wish that Hamels was pitching like this before the trade deadline (not sure how much it would have improvedthe trade return ... but anyways)
The consideration for the Cubs management:
- are there any pitching prospects in the pipeline that could step in next season?
- are the current group of players under contract hurt next season?
- how many good free agents are there next year?
- how well will he pitch and stay healthy over the course of the year?
If he gets hurt again or tanks (the last month being an abberation and he reverts to pre-trade form), then the discussion of picking up the option is moot. They won't drop 20m on an injury risk or a replacement level pitcher.
Given the list of potential free agents, Hamels track record is still probably better than most (you REALLY expect Kershaw to opt out of 2 years at $30m ea?) of the the options going onto the market. And given inflated cost for starters, he's probably going to be market value.
But given the up front cost, and the fact the Rangers are due to pay the buyout, I wouldn't be stunned if the Cubs took the buyout, then turned around and resigned him for less (ie: a 10-12m per season with performance bonuses)