Cubs Among the Teams Scouting Cole Hamels, and He Cannot Block a Trade to Them

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Cubs Among the Teams Scouting Cole Hamels, and He Cannot Block a Trade to Them

Chicago Cubs

Another rental starter option for the Cubs? How about lefty Cole Hamels?

Hamels, 34, is not only not the pitcher he once was, but he’s also been quite terrible this season (4.72 ERA, 5.20 FIP, 1.81 HR/9, 22.7% K rate, 8.4% BB rate). I suppose your mild caveat there – as we discussed with Jesse Chavez – is that Arlington is playing especially homer friendly right now, and most of Hamels’ terrible numbers are because of that abysmal home run rate. On the road, his ERA is under three.

Contractually speaking, Hamels is an interesting one, because he’s very expensive – still owed $7 million this year – which will make him a tough fit for teams with tight budgets. He also comes with a team option for 2019 at $20 million with a $6 million buyout. So, unless money is included in the trade, you’re taking on a huge financial commitment (and a $14 million decision next year).

You may recall that the Cubs claimed Hamels on waivers a few years ago – but were unable to work out a trade – before he wound up later traded to the Rangers. I’m not sure how much relevance a waiver claim that long ago has on their opinion of Hamels now, but it at least means they don’t think he’s a total dirtbag or anything …

(Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

There might be something here. Remember, the Cubs aren’t necessarily looking for an impact starting pitcher, just a reasonably-priced short-term depth move, preferably a guy who *could* look like a playoff-caliber starter come October if things break right and the need is there. For me, Nathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ fit that description. And, on the right deal, Hamels probably does, too.

It’s worth noting that there were lots and lots of teams scouting Hamels last night, and he didn’t exactly impress, getting blown up by the A’s. A bad outing is not really what you’re evaluating at this point, though, on a guy like Hamels, even if it’s his last start before having to make a trade decision. You’re looking for signs of health (or lack thereof), body language, how the results are happening, what could be tweaked, etc.

Of course, it could be that the things you’re looking at are ugly, and that’s what drove the poor results.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.