Texas Rangers: Cole Hamels Dominance for Chicago Could Help Texas

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 17: Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 17: Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers dealt Cole Hamels in July to the Chicago Cubs where he’s seen a string of strong starts. If this continues, it could help Texas.

Much to the frustration of many Rangers’ fans, Cole Hamels has been lights out since being dealt to the Chicago Cubs prior to the MLB Trade Deadline. Once a deadline pickup for the Texas Rangers, the veteran lefty was the center of trade discussions for the majority of offseason and season. On a hefty contract with a team option, fans knew that Texas would be shopping Hamels to try and get any return they possibly could. Eventually they found a suitor in the Chicago Cubs who sent reliever Eddie Butler, prospect pitcher Rollie Lacy and teenage outfielder Alexander Ovalles to the Rangers for Cole.

The return the Rangers got for their de facto ace was quite underwhelming considering the playoff experience Hamels had. However, Hamels was having a very poor year for Texas with many wondering if the trade rumors were getting to him. In 20 starts in 2018, Hamels had an ERA of 4.72 and had an abysmal WHIP of 1.373. This knocked quite a bit of value off of Cole which is why Texas got three depth players in return. In addition to the player exchange, Texas also agree to pay a portion of Hamels remaining 2018 salary and his $6 million buyout for 2019 in the Cubs decided to not pick up his option.

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Initially after the trade, the buyout seemed almost a certainty, but with the way Hamels is pitching, could the Cubs decide to pick up his option? In his first 4 starts for Chicago, Hamels has been stellar throwing 25 innings and posting an ERA of just 0.72. On top of that, Hamels WHIP has dropped to an impressive 0.880. Part of this seems to be due to a more pitcher friendly park in Wrigley Field compared to Globe Life Park. Also, having the trade season over with likely puts the mind at ease.

But for Texas, this deal isn’t over. If Cole Hamels keeps pitching like he has been, some wonder whether the Chicago Cubs would pick up Hamels $20 million team option for 2019. If they do, it would mean that the Rangers would get out of paying his $6 million buyout saving them a nice chunk of change next season. If the Rangers could save that money, it would free them up to maybe make a run in free agency to try and expedite their rebuild process.

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