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.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.