Red-hot Cubs bolster rotation by trading for Cole Hamels

Texas Rangers Starting Pitcher Cole Hamels

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But the 34-year-old Hamels is an experienced playoff pitcher with a history of success at Wrigley Field.

Hamels, a four-time All-Star, is 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 2018, his fourth wiht the Rangers since being acquired in the middle of the 2015 season from the Phillies. He is 1-7 with a 6.41 ERA and an opponents' OPS of.911 at the Rangers' hitter-friendly Globe Life Park - and has an extensive postseason pedigree.

"He has pitched in some pretty big games [and] he's done very well", Cubs Manager Joe Maddon told reporters Thursday, as the Hamels talks were heating up. He is a great competitor and has great stuff. Those numbers have been hurt by a awful July for Hamels, who is 1-3 with a 11.12 ERA in four starts after carrying a 3.61 ERA into the month. He competes and knows what he is doing out there. His Rangers contract contained a partial no-trade clause, but the Cubs were not among the teams he could block. If the Cubs decline his $19-million option for 2019 and pay a $6-million buyout, the Rangers would also pay the Cubs an additional $6 million.

The Cubs are 60-42 this season, sitting in first place of the NL Central. Darvish and Chatwood were the centerpieces of the Cubs' offseason, as the two free agent signees cost a total of $164 million. My guess remains six-man rotation in the short-term, at least, which means Chatwood would get at least another start.

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Earlier in the day, the Cubs tried to make a play for starter J.A. Happ but the Yankees won out for the veteran starter.

Lacy, 23, was the Cubs' 11th round pick in the 2017 draft.

The deal for Hamels is their second trade with Texas in the past couple weeks.

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