Cubs Trade Rumors: Chicago 'Making Inroads' on Potential Cole Hamels Deal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2018

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 13, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs have been searching for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline and apparently have their eyes on Cole Hamels.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Cubs are "making inroads" on a potential trade with the Texas Rangers for the veteran pitcher.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic added that the return would likely be lower-level prospects.

Hamels is currently 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts this season.

While the ERA would be the worst in the 34-year-old's 13-year career in the majors, it would still be a slight improvement compared to Tyler Chatwood. The Cubs' fifth starter has been inconsistent this season and has hurt the team's chances to win the NL Central.

Hamels has also shown he can be much better even late in his career. Over the previous two seasons with Texas, the left-hander accumulated a 26-11 record and 3.69 ERA, earning an All-Star appearance in 2016.

Adding in his playoff experience that includes a World Series MVP award and a 3.48 ERA in 16 starts, the veteran could be a perfect addition for a team looking to bring home another title.

Considering Texas is 42-61 on the season, there shouldn't be too much debate about trading away a player in the last season of his seven-year deal, which was originally signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The biggest holdup could be money since Hamels is owed $23.5 million this season (including $2.5 million paid by the Phillies), per Baseball Reference. He also has a buyout of $6 million for next year if the team doesn't pick up his $20 million option, which seems unlikely.

The Rangers could have to pay for a portion of the remaining contract, but the amount of money sent could also affect the level of return from the Cubs.