The Texas Rangers have traded starting pitcher Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs, the Cubs announced Friday. The Rangers receive right-handed pitching prospect Rollie Lacy, right-handed reliever Eddie Butler and a player to be named later.
The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant first reported the deal Thursday.
Hamels has been rumored as a trade candidate for more than a year, so it's no surprise the Rangers dealt the lefty in the midst of a 42-61 season that's left them 24.5 games behind the Houston Astros for the American League West lead.
Plus, Hamels is in the final guaranteed year of his contract.
His 2019 salary would come on a $20 million club option, and while that figure will become fully guaranteed if he pitches 400 combined innings in 2017 and 2018, there's a $6 million buyout if he doesn't eclipse the required thresholds.
Future financial considerations aside, Hamels is a quality addition with playoff experience who can provide Chicago's rotation with a boost.
Through 20 starts in 2018, the 2008 World Series MVP and four-time All-Star has gone 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA and 1.37 WHIP while logging a 2.71 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Those numbers may not be staggering, but the Cubs are making a low-risk, high-reward move by adding Hamels to a staff that will feature Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish, once the latter returns from his triceps injury.