The Cubs exercised their $20 million 2019 club option on starter Cole Hamels back in November, bringing the lefty back for the final year of his contract. It was originally a six-year, $144 million extension with the Phillies that included that seventh-year option.
Hamels, 35, is not the Cy Young Award contender he once was, but has been plenty solid since leaving Philadelphia. Last year, between the Rangers and Cubs, the lefty posted a 3.78 ERA with 188 strikeouts and 65 walks across 190 2/3 innings.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Hamels has no plans to retire after the 2019 season. When asked, Hamels emphatically said, “Hell no!” His goal is to pitch until the age of 45. “I played with Jamie Moyer,” Hamels said.
Hamels, thus far, has had a brilliant 13-year career, arguably Hall of Fame-caliber. He won a championship with the Phillies in 2008, made four All-Star teams, and has had four top-10 finishes in Cy Young balloting. Hamels owns a career 3.40 ERA with 156 wins and 2,415 strikeouts. With an electorate that has increasingly devalued wins for pitchers, Hamels could fare well in Hall of Fame voting. Whether that’s in 2025 or 2035 remains to be seen.