4. Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs
Although Cole Hamels was the biggest name Texas had to offer this trade season, he ended up not bringing in much by way of young, talented pitching. At least not yet. While we did acquire RHP Rollie Lacy and RHP Eddie Butler in the deal, neither of those two projects as a true impact major league pitcher. However we do still have a player to be named later in this deal which could help take it up a couple of notches.
Rollie Lacy has spent most of 2018 in Single-A for the Cubs where he put together a 2.02 ERA in 16 appearances, 10 of which were starts. He struggled when promoted to High-A for the Cubs but in his lone start for High-A Down East, the Rangers affiliate, he went 5 shutout innings allowing just 2 hits and striking out 7 hitters. Right now he’s not highly rated but the hope is he can exceed his expected upside.
Eddie Butler, unlike Lacy, is not a pitching prospect but rather a 27 year old reliever who split time between Triple-A and the Majors this year. I personally really like this acquisition. Butler, while not some future star, is a great addition for bullpen depth. Not arbitration eligible until 2020 and not free agent eligible until 2023, the Rangers essentially will have Butler until at least his age-29 season and most likely beyond. Texas gets to try out Butler as a reliever and can use him as part of a rebuild if he impresses.
We gave this deal an initial grade of C+ but it ranks above the Chavez deal because in the end it brought back three players and Texas is in dire need of pitching depth. Also the PTBNL could help take this deal from okay to good.