John Lepore | December 4th, 2019
Left-hander Cole Hamels has signed with the Atlanta Braves for one year at $18 million as per Jeff Passan. Hamels will be 36 years old later this month but still can offer some solid innings. Let’s take a look at what the Braves are getting.
The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Cole Hamels out of High School with the 17th pick in 2002. He played nine and a half seasons in Philly and was the World Series MVP in 2008 when the Phillies won their first title in 28 years. He was traded to the Texas Rangers along with Jake Diekman at the deadline in 2015. He was then traded to the Chicago Cubs at the deadline in 2018. Last year the Cubs picked up his option for $20 million.
While Hamels is a risk at 36, he had a solid season last year starting 27 games and pitching to a 3.81 ERA and striking out a batter per inning. He has had a borderline hall-of-fame career: 163-121, 3.42 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 123 ERA+, 3.34 K/BB, 2,558 Ks. With Atlanta looking forward to the playoffs again this season, this could be a nice pick up for them. They spent the money on a one-year deal last season for Josh Donaldson and that went very well for them.
With Donaldson’s $23 million off the books and an obvious need for a starter, the Braves made a nice move here. Hamels can still give you 25-30 starts at a sub-4.00 ERA with a K per inning. He brings experience and knowledge of the National League. Just as Donaldson was last year, Hamels is a solid risk-reward investment and should slot in nicely as the likely fourth starter.
Prediction: 29 starts, 11-7, 172 IP, 3.66 ERA, 1.305 WHIP, 180 Ks
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