Cole Hamels, Chicago Cub! (UPDATES: Official)

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The Cubs went and won themselves a ball game (the come from behind variety, again) while I was in the midst of moving all my stuff for relocation to California. That was fun, but I suppose we should address the elephant in the room that is Tyler Chatwood. In theory, Chatwood was a decent fifth starter, with some command and Coors-related issues, but still with enough stuff that he could get by. You see that at times, because his pitches have a lot of life and they induce silly swings.

The problem is that the Cubs always seem to be struggling to come from behind in Chatwood starts because he can’t go deep in games due to walking the world, and this is going to eventually be taxing on the bullpen and the collective team psyche, though you wouldn’t know it since they won’t publicly throw a teammate under the bus (at least, I don’t think so). With Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow still on the mend, both sides of the pitching staff are getting stretched thin and the depth is being tested. It is very fortunate that the Cubs continue to lead the National League and the Central Division despite all this plus an unusually oft-injured Kris Bryant. But because Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are always forward-thinking, they will probably do something about it.

Enter the Texas Rangers’ Cole Hamels, whom you might remember from such soul-crushing pitching performances like this:

The Cubs are allegedly in the running for Hamels’ services, this in the final guaranteed year of his contract. The Cots people say that Hamels does have a team option for 2019, so this is not a pure “rental” situation (gotta find a better word for that) if the Cubs choose to splurge assuming they are serious about this trade scenario and actually land him. I’ll let smarter people than I talk about his peripherals and stuff, but there’s a reason multiple teams are interested, and perhaps getting him out of the launchpad in Arlington will help out.

The addition of a Hamels-caliber pitcher also can push one of Chatwood or Mike Montgomery to the bullpen, to simultaneously alleviate the pressure from losing both Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow, as a few back end relievers are capable of closing things out. This would allow Chatwood some time to find himself, and Hamels becoming a free agent (if his option is not picked up) would allow Chatwood another opportunity to fix whatever is broken this year during the spring and win a rotation spot again.

And then there’s this:

Gonna keep an eye on the internet tonight and through to July 31, keep checking for updates if you are reading us instead of the bajillion other blogs out there (love you!).

UPDATE 7:49 PM: Well, this seems like it’s close to official!

All the stuff I said above still applies. Waiting for something official, but this is pretty awesome.

UPDATE 8:10 PM: Among others, sounds like the trade is imminent:

The idea seems to be multiple prospects in exchange for the Rangers taking on most of the remaining salary, allowing the Cubs to stay under the luxury tax threshold so they can go nuts in the offseason without forfeiting too many draft picks just yet.

UPDATE 9:57 PM: This is not that bad for the Cubs and all they really need Hamels to do for the next few months is be average to make this a win.

If this is confirmed, the Cubs made out like bandits. And if Hamels sucks, it’s not like they lost that much in the end…

UPDATE 7/27 11:19 AM: The deal is now official since the Cubs tweeted it:

Takes care of a pitching need and they don’t even have to worry about the roster spot. Win win!

UPDATE 7/29 3:35 PM: Hamels gets a locker now!

He will start during the Pirates series on Wednesday. Here’s to a good outing as the Brewers are refusing to suck again, and the Pirates are red hot.

And, you know, maybe go listen to our Dreamcast and win something.

Featured Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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