Jerry Crasnick reports that the Chicago Cubs will exercise Cole Hamels‘ $20 million option for 2019. And, as we talked about this morning, they cleared salary to do so, trading pitcher Drew Smyly to the Rangers.
Hamels was outstanding for the Cubs after being acquired from Texas at the deadline last season, putting up a 2.36 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 74/23 in 76.1 innings in 12 starts. He’ll be entering his 14th season in the big leagues and, for his career is 156-114 with a 3.40 ERA (124 ERA+). He’ll slot in alongside Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks at the top of the Cubs 2019 rotation. Chicago just picked up Jose Quintana’s option as well, so 1-4 is all set, actually.
Smyly has not pitched in the big leagues since 2016 and has only pitched one single game — a contest for South Bend of the Midwest League — in that time. He’s on the books for $7 million in 2019, however, by virtue of the two-year deal the Cubs handed him last December as he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery he underwent in mid-2017.