Cubs affected most from the Cole Hamels trade

Reports: Rangers Trading Cole Hamels To Cubs

Reports: Rangers Trading Cole Hamels To Cubs

In fact, the Cubs could be betting that a move away from Arlington will help Hamels get back on track.

Hamels is making $23.5 million this season and has a $6 million buyout (or $20 million team option) for 2019, but the Cubs will reportedly only have to pay $5 million of Hamels' remaining contract. That would help ease the burden on a rotation that features two 34-year-olds (Hamels and Jon Lester), a pitcher now on track to set a new career high in innings (Mike Montgomery), a guy who experienced shoulder fatigue right before the All-Star Break (Jose Quintana) and, of course, Chatwood and his mechanical issues that have seen him walk 85 batters in only 94 innings. On July 25, 2015, in his last start for Philadelphia before being traded to the Texas Rangers, Hamels no-hit the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Texas won the division again in 2016, but both times lost to Toronto in the AL Division Series.

Hamels carried a 3.61 ERA at the end of June, before a rough July (1-3, 11.12 ERA) sent his ERA climbing and his price dropping. "That was something I wanted to be able to do in Texas, and it didn't happen". He was traded to Texas six days later.

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Imagine what the NL Central race would look like now if the Cubs had instead signed Miles Mikolas, who reinvented himself in Japan and reemerged as an All-Star and a bright spot in an otherwise dark season for the St. Louis Cardinals. All-Star Jon Lester and Mike Montgomery, who began the year in the bullpen, have been their most consistent performers. By the end of the day, they had completed the deal for Hamels.

Butler will join the Rangers' roster. He was sidelined for about three months with a groin injury before recently returning. Butler, 27, has played in parts of five seasons in the bigs, never having much success.

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