Cubs exercise option on Hamels, trade Smyly

Ruben Hill
November 3, 2018

The Chicago Cubs are picking up the option on left-hander Cole Hamels' contract for the 2019 season, sources told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Drew Smyly, who did not pitch at all previous year, is due $7 million in 2019 plus a potential $6 million in performance bonuses.

Theo Epstein and company could have tried to negotiate a new deal with Hamels, but they're just happy to keep him in the rotation.

If the Cubs chose to decline Hamels' option, the Rangers would have owed him $6 million.

They plan to send Drew Smyly to the Texas Rangers, according to the reports, to free up money for the ace lefty's hefty salary. Had the Cubs declined the option, the Rangers would have been on the hook for the $6 million buyout.

Cole Hamels will get the ball back for the Chicago Cubs in 2019.

Smyly, 29, was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA (82 ERA+) in 2016.

Hamels, 34, was 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA overall past year, but he pitched to a 2.36 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings with the Cubs after being dealt. Hamels has 2,553.0 career innings pitched and 3.40 ERA with 2,415 strikeouts and 710 walks.

Smyly, who the Rangers view as a starter, didn't pitch for the Cubs last season as he continued to recover from Tommy John Surgery in June 2017.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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