As we mentioned the other day, Cole Hamels was claimed on revocable waivers by the Cubs. The Cubs and Phillies have until some time today to complete a deal or else the Phillies will pull him back off of waivers. Most people think there will be no deal.
But this is still interesting. Because it shows that the Cubs would — if Philly took leave of its senses and let Hamels go on waivers — take on a pitcher owed $100 million right now. Which suggests that, unlike in past offseasons, the Cubs are ready so spend big. Possibly even getting into the bidding wars that are likely to develop around Max Scherzer and Jon Lester. And, after 2015, David Price.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.