Chicago Cubs: Hamels was the best choice for this staff
The rest of this year’s free agent class has some starting pitchers with some interesting upsides. But I’m not comfortable with any of those options. All of them have more uncertainty and in some cases more cost too than Hamels and his one year $20 million option.
Now we can argue that the Cubs had a lot of other internal options for the fifth spot in the rotation such as Smyly, Mike Montgomery and Tyler Chatwood. This year’s trade market has an unusual number of great starting pitchers potentially available too. However, the Cubs don’t have the prospect capital to be in a position to realistically pursue any of them.
If one year of Hamels costs the Cubs several years of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado and the Cubs don’t win the 2019 World Series, then it was the wrong move. However, if the Cubs wanted to keep Hamels, letting him become a free agent would have been an expensive mistake.