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Cubs pick up Cole Hamels’ option, trade Drew Smyly to Rangers

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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.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.