ATLANTA – It was expected that he wouldn’t find himself back on the north side of town in 2020, but it wasn’t guaranteed that Cole Hamels would be leaving Chicago.
In need of veteran starting pitching, many figured that the White Sox would take a hard look at the left-hander to add to their rotation as they hope to compete for a playoff berth this season. Hamels even told Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago that the team had been in contact with him about doing so.
But in the end, the lefty decided to leave Chicago to start the next chapter of his career in Atlanta.
Per multiple reports, including the first from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Braves have an agreement with the pitcher on a one-year, $18 million deal for the 2020 season.
Left-hander Cole Hamels and the Atlanta Braves are in agreement on a one-year, $18 million deal, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 4, 2019
The club has yet to confirm the move.
Hamels heads to Atlanta after spending a year-and-a-half with the Cubs following a trade from the Rangers in July, 2018. After struggling in Texas with a 4.92 ERA, the four-time All-Star found new life with the Cubs as he went 5-4 with a 2.36 ERA. With Yu Darvish out and Tyler Chatwood struggling, Hamels helped the team finish out a 95-win campaign that got the team in the postseason for a fourth-straight year.
In 27 starts this past season, Hamels was 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA with 143 strikeouts compared to 65 walks, with his final start being a memorable one. On September 28th, Hamels allowed just two hits over in four scoreless innings with eight strikeouts compared to no walks. He finished his Cubs career with an 11-10 record with a 3.30 ERA with 217 strikeouts compared to 79 walks.
Hamels will be in his 15th year of his MLB career when he takes the mound for the Braves in 2020. He has 163 career wins with a 3.42 ERA in 421 starts, with most of those coming with the Phillies between 2006-2015.