The Chicago Cubs acquired left-hander Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers on Thursday night. This would have been a fantastic move four years ago. We’ve got four solid reasons why this move will help the Milwaukee Brewers and hurt the Cubs…
The Chicago Cubs sought to boost their starting rotation by adding Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers. While we’re still waiting on a formal announcement, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Hamels will head to Chicago in the next day. However, this addition won’t impact the division race the way the Cubs think it will. Milwaukee Brewers fans should actually like this addition. Here’s why…
Hamels is in his age-34 season
Hamels hasn’t posted a WAR over 4.0 since 2015. He hasn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2016. Hamels isn’t quite the pitcher he was, and won’t provide near the impact that he would have just a few seasons ago.
Hamels is having a rough season
Hamels has a 4.72 actual ERA with a 4.17 xFIP. Neither of those are very good. His walk rate is a career high, and he should end up with a career high homers allowed. His velocity is also down and his change-up isn’t nearly as effective as it was in years past.
Hamels isn’t a fan of a six-man rotation
Once the Cubs finalize the deal for Hamels, they’re going to make the switch to a six-man rotation. Hamels is clearly not a fan of six-man rotations. He’s a professional and will do what the team needs, but that doesn’t mean he’ll like it.
The Cubs rotation still isn’t great
Tyler Chatwood is awful and Yu Darvish hasn’t pitched since May 20th. Kyle Hendricks is human, and Jose Quintana is still allowing too many walks. Jon Lester faded badly down the stretch last season. While the Cubs are still in the driver’s seat for the NL Central, adding a mediocre Hamels to this group won’t guarantee a playoff spot.
How does this impact the Brewers?
It takes a potential trade target off the market, but it really won’t have any impact on the Milwaukee Brewers in the next few months.
The Brewers still need to add a starting pitcher and an infielder to truly contend, but the addition of Hamels isn’t the guarantee it would have been a few years ago. Hamels brings a lot of years, a lot of innings, and a lot of baggage to the Cubs. He’s not going to provide nearly the boost the Cubs are expecting. In fact, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Hamels struggle. This move comes off as desperate, and virtually eliminates the Cubs from making other additions.
The Milwaukee Brewers have already added Joakim Soria, and are in the mix for other available starters and infielders for their stretch run. The Cubs have gone ‘all-in’ on Hamels, but it doesn’t look like it’s enough. If the Brewers look to improve their rotation and upgrade their infield, they could find themselves in front of the Cubs sooner rather than later.