Chicago Cubs: Ranking the greatest players of the last decade: #50-#41

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 06: (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 06: (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: No. 44 – Cole Hamels

By the time Cole Hamels came to the Chicago Cubs, he had already established himself as one of the best left-handed pitchers of his generation. He was a star with the Philadelphia Phillies for many years and was a part of their 2008 World Series championship team. Through the 2019 season, Hamels has 163 career wins and a career 3.42 ERA.

Before he came to the Cubs, Hamels was a part of Chicago Cubs history in a negative way. In his final start with the Phillies on July 25, 2015, before being traded to the Texas Rangers, Hamels threw a no-hitter at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. It was the first time the Cubs had been no-hit since September 9, 1965, when Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against them.

Hamels’ career had slowed down by the time the Cubs traded for him from the Rangers during the 2018 season. He had posted a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts, and it looked like Hamels would be nothing more than an experienced number five starter addition to the rotation. However, he put up a tremendous 2.36 ERA in 12 starts, helping lead the Cubs into the postseason.

The veteran southpaw once again turned in a solid campaign in 2019, though it was a tale of two halves. In the first half, he posted a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts before going on the injured list. When he returned, he wasn’t nearly as good, posting a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts. He finished the year strong, throwing four scoreless innings in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

There’s a good chance Hamels won’t be back in 2020, as he’s a free agent. The Cubs could conceivably make a qualifying offer, though it’s likely that they won’t.