Report: Cubs to Acquire Cole Hamels From Rangers

When there’s smoke, there’s fire. We heard earlier that the Cubs were working on making a deal to acquire Rangers’ starter Cole Hamels, and as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported, the deal is now done. It’s no secret that the Cubs have not gotten the production they need out of their starting rotation, so it’s certainly not surprising to see them make a deal to add some depth.

Hamels’ numbers this season have been alternately en- and discouraging. His ERA and FIP are 4.72 and 5.20, respectively, in 20 starts, which isn’t great. On the other hand, he boasts an impressive 8.97 K/9 and 3.31 BB/9 at the time of the trade.

You’d think such a strong strikeout/walk ratio would translate to better run prevention, but Hamels’ bugaboo has been the longball. He has surrendered 1.81 homers per nine innings, which is third worst in MLB, and Statcast believes nearly all of his homers against would’ve been gone in most ballparks.

Nevertheless, there are many reasons to be excited about Hamels. First, he is still chucking fastballs around a 92 mph average, which is more or less within his career range. Second, he still showcases a beautiful curveball and one of the best changeups in MLB. Third, and perhaps most encouraging, is that his whiff rate of 26 percent is better than 73 percent of qualified MLB starters this season.

He instantly becomes the best swing-and-miss starter for the Cubs, who so far own a mediocre 20 percent whiff rate.


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