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.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.