Chicago Cubs are better off not paying Cole Hamels $18 million

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Left-hander Cole Hamels agreed to terms with the Atlanta Braves on a one-year, $18 million deal – and the Chicago Cubs are better off for it.

It’s been a busy day. The Hot Stove is at its hottest at any point of the offseason so far, with Zack Wheeler inking a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore trading Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels. But the day got started with former Chicago Cubs hurler Cole Hamels inking a one-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Braves.

Hamels, who turns 36 later this month, spent the last year-and-a-half with Chicago, turning in a largely strong body of work. In 39 starts with the Cubs, the southpaw worked to a 3.86 FIP and 1.391 WHIP – helping lead the team to the postseason for the fourth consecutive year in 2018 with a masterful second half run.

After coming to the team via trade at the deadline, Hamels twirled gem after gem, turning in a 2.36 ERAR in a dozen starts. He even came on in relief during the NL Wild Card game, tossing two scoreless frames in the 13-inning affair.

This year got off to a similar start – when he tore out of the gate with a 2.98 ERA in the first half. But in 10 starts after he returned from an oblique injury, he limped to an unsightly 5.79 ERA, throwing clunker after clunker with the exception of his final start in a Cubs uniform.