Hamels has been with Texas since 2015.
Cubs get Hamels and cash considerations that could total $8 million. That would help ease the burden on a rotation that features two 34-year-olds (Hamels and Jon Lester), a pitcher now on track to set a new career high in innings (Mike Montgomery), a guy who experienced shoulder fatigue right before the All-Star Break (Jose Quintana) and, of course, Chatwood and his mechanical issues that have seen him walk 85 batters in only 94 innings.
"He has been pretty good", Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Thursday after the team's interest has first been reported. With the Cubs over the last two seasons, he has an ERA of 3.98 in 11 starts and 10 relief appearances. "He's a great competitor".
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The Cubs reportedly struck a deal with the Rangers to acquire Hamels, 34, for low-level minor-leaguers. Which will nearly certainly be bought out given that the option would pay Hamels $20 million next year. His Rangers contract contained a partial no-trade clause, but the Cubs were not among the teams he could block.
With Hamels in tow, the Cubs could also opt to move Chatwood into the bullpen in an attempt to get his mechanics smoothed out.
The Cubs are on top of the NL with a 60-42 record entering Friday night's game at St. Louis, but they haven't received much length from their starting pitching. The teams had agreed to the trade Thursday, pending physicals for the players involved. He has given up 16 home runs over 59 innings at home and 7 home runs over 55 1/3 innings on the road. By the end of the day, they had completed the deal for Hamels.