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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.

 

Cubs shut Brandon Morrow down for remainder of 2019

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Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow, on a rehab assignment as he works his way back from elbow and forearm issues, suffered a setback and has been shut down for the remainder of the 2019 season, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports.

Morrow, 35, hasn’t pitched since July 15, 2018. The right-hander inked a two-year, $21 million contract with the Cubs in December 2017 but has been unable to stay healthy. When he did pitch last year, he was excellent, limiting the opposition to five runs on 24 hits and nine walks with 31 strikeouts and 22 saves in 30 2/3 innings.

Morrow is likely done as a Cub. He has a vesting option for 2020 worth $12 million. The details aren’t publicly available but it presumably won’t vest. The Cubs can instead buy him out for $3 million, making him a free agent.