Cubs officially announced acquiring LHP Cole Hamels from the Rangers … RHP Alec Mills recalled from Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs made the official announcement on Friday that the team acquired veteran lefty Cole Hamels from the Rangers. The Cubs also received cash in the deal, reportedly $5 million of the $13.9 million guaranteed to Hamels between his remaining salary and buyout on the $6 million club option for the 2019 season.
The Cubs sent RHP Eddie Butler, minor league RHP Rollie Lacy and a PTBNL to Texas for Hamels.
The Cubs will stay with a five-man rotation, at least for now. Joe Maddon did not say before Friday’s game against the Cardinals when Hamels will make his first start or how the team will use Tyler Chatwood moving forward.
Hamels is expected to join the Cubs in St. Louis this weekend. Until he is activated, the Cubs have an open spot on the active roster. The Cubs recalled RHP Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa to fill the void in the pen left by the trade that sent Eddie Butler to Texas.
With the Cubs roster moves, the 40-man roster stands at 40 players.
Cole Hamels, 34, is a four-time All-Star with a 152-111 record and 3.43 ERA (944 earned runs in 2,476 2/3 innings) in 383 career appearances (382 starts) covering 13 Major League seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies (2006-15) and Texas Rangers (2015-18). The 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP is 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA (38 earned runs in 98 1/3 innings) in 16 career post-season starts. Hamels has one career solo no-hitter, tossed on July 25, 2015 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his final start as a member of the Phillies before being traded to the Rangers six days later.
The southpaw has reached double digits in victories in nine seasons, including the last three in a row into 2018, and ranks sixth among active pitchers with 2,341 strikeouts, eighth with 152 wins, ninth with a 1.17 WHIP and 13th with a 3.43 ERA, which is fourth lowest among all active left-handed pitchers and just ahead of new teammate Jon Lester (3.49 career ERA). Hamels is 33-15 (.688) with a 2.94 ERA (155 earned runs in 474 1/3 innings) in 71 career starts against N.L. Central competition, his lowest ERA and best winning percentage against any of the six divisions throughout baseball.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hamels is 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA (60 earned runs in 114 1/3 innings) in 20 starts with the Rangers this season, fanning 114 batters in 114 1/3 innings. He owns a 2.93 ERA on the road, which is tied for 12th-lowest in all of baseball, would tie for sixth-lowest in the National League and is the best road ERA among any Cub starting pitcher this year. Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA (eight earned runs in 41 innings) in six career starts at Wrigley Field, the lowest ERA of any active pitcher with more than five career starts at the Friendly Confines.
Hamels most recently earned All-Star honors in 2016 when he went 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA (74 earned runs in 200 2/3 innings) in 32 starts with the Rangers, his eighth season reaching 200.0 innings and his ninth season reaching 30 starts. He also earned All-Star honors in 2007, 2011 and 2012, when he set a career high with 17 wins and 216 strikeouts. Last year, Hamels went 11-6 with a 4.20 ERA (69 earned runs in 148 innings) in 24 starts with Texas.
A native of San Diego, Hamels broke into the big leagues with the Phillies in 2006 at the age of 22. He earned his first All-Star honor in 2007 (15-5, 3.39 ERA) and in 2008 helped lead Philadelphia to its first World Championship since 1980. He would help the Phillies reach the World Series again in 2009, as Philadelphia remains the last N.L. club to reach the World Series in consecutive campaigns. Hamels was originally selected by the Phillies in the first round (17th overall) of the 2002 Draft.
Eddie Butler, 27, went 1-1 with 4.08 ERA (eight earned runs in 17 2/3 innings) in eight relief appearances with the Cubs this season. He was acquired from Colorado on February 1, 2017 and went 5-4 with a 3.98 ERA (32 earned runs in 72 1/3 innings) in 21 games (11 starts) with Chicago the last two seasons. Including his three seasons with the Rockies, Butler is 11-20 with a 5.71 ERA (147 earned runs in 231 2/3 innings) in 57 career major league appearances, 39 as a starter and 18 in relief.
Rollie Lacy, 23, was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2017 Draft out of Creighton University. He has combined to go 5-2 with a 2.45 ERA (22 earned runs in 80 2/3 innings) in 18 appearances (12 starts) between Low-A South Bend and High-A Myrtle Beach this season.
The Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa. Mills, who will wear uniform number 24, will be available for the Cubs when they begin their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Mills, 26, has gone 4-10 with a 4.79 ERA (55 earned runs in 103 1/3 innings) in 19 starts with Iowa this season. He returns to the big leagues for the first time since 2016, when he made three relief appearances for the Kansas City Royals, posting no record and a 13.50 ERA (five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings). Mills was acquired by the Cubs on February 8, 2017 from the Royals for minor league outfielder Donnie Dewees.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Mills was originally selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He was limited to seven minor league starts due to injury last year across three levels of the Cubs system, going 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA (eight earned runs in 28 innings).
In 2016, his last full campaign, Mills combined to go 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA (45 earned runs in 125 2/3 innings) in 24 appearances, all but one as a starter, between Kansas City’s Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha affiliates. He went 1-2 with a 2.39 ERA (18 earned runs in 67 2/3 innings) in 12 starts in Double-A to earn Texas League mid-season All-Star honors and a promotion to Triple-A, where he went 4-3 with a 4.19 ERA (27 earned runs in 58 innings) in 12 appearances, 11 as a starter.
The Clarksville, Tenn., native is 25-33 with nine saves and a 3.35 ERA (195 earned runs in 523 2/3 innings) in seven minor league campaigns in the Royals and Cubs organizations.