Report: Cubs acquire Cole Hamels from Rangers

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Update #3 (11:17 PM ET): Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Rangers will receive minor league pitcher Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later from the Cubs.

Lacy, 23, was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2017 draft. The right-hander spent most of his season with Single-A South Bend before being promoted to high-A Myrtle Beach. Combined over 12 starts and six relief appearances at both levels, Lacy has a 2.45 ERA with 94 strikeouts and 24 walks in 80 2/3 innings.

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Update #2 (8:45 PM ET): The two sides have agreed on a deal, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

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Update (8:12 PM ET): Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reports that the Cubs and Rangers are moving towards a trade involving Hamels. He notes the trade would involve salary relief for the Rangers and the Cubs would give up “lowever-level minor league prospects.”

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs appear to be the front-runner to acquire starter Cole Hamels from the Rangers. The Braves and Phillies are believed to have interest, and the Nationals reportedly had interest earlier this week.

Hamels, 34, has had an abysmal month. In four July starts, he has allowed 25 runs (21 earned) in 17 innings, which has caused his ERA to balloon from 4.05 to 4.72. However, Hamels has much better numbers on the road (2.93 ERA) than at home (6.41 ERA). Interested teams are likely focusing on those numbers, as well as Hamels’ track record.

Hamels is owed the remainder of his $22.5 million salary for the 2018 season and has a $20 million club option for the 2019 campaign with a $6 million buyout. His contract also includes a limited no-trade clause. He cannot block trades to the Cubs, Braves, Phillies, Astros, Mets, Mariners, Cardinals, Rays, and Nationals.

The Cubs could use an upgrade in the rotation. Tyler Chatwood has flopped after the Cubs signed him in the offseason, owning a 4.84 ERA with a remarkably poor 78/79 K/BB ratio. Yu Darvish, another offseason signing, struggled to a 4.95 ERA in eight starts before landing on the disabled list.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.