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Cubs make the Cole Hamels deal official

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The trade was reported yesterday, and Cole Hamels gave his now-former Rangers teammates hugs as he left the ballpark during the game against the A’s, but now the Cole Hamels trade is official.

The Cubs will get Hamels in exchange for righties Eddie Butler and Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later. The Rangers will pick up $5 million of what’s left on Hamels’ $22.5 million salary for this year plus the $6 million buyout on his 2019 option. Which will almost certainly be bought out given that the option would pay Hamels $20 million next year.

Hamels, 34, is 5-9 on the year, but he has pitched fantastically on the road and terribly in Texas, which makes his 4.72 ERA a bit misleading. He’s also pitched terribly of late, but again, most of those starts have taken place in Arlington. The Cubs are counting on a change of scenery to snap Hamels back into his old ace-like self. We’ll see about that, but they are getting a healthy starter who is capable of more than he’s shown in 2018.

Lacy, 23, was the Cubs’ 11th round pick in the 2017 draft. He has made 12 starts and six relief appearances in 2018, posting a 2.45 ERA with 94 strikeouts and 24 walks in 80.2 innings in low-A and high-A combined. Butler, 27, has played in parts of five seasons in the bigs, never having much success. He’s an arm who can eat some innings I suppose. Even the Rangers need that.

 

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.