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Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels

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Offline    Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#1

Posted: November 02, 2018, 10:43 AM Post
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Cubs exercised LHP Cole Hamels' $20 million option for 2019.

The two sides weren't able to work out a different deal and the Cubs just decided to go ahead and pick up Hamels' option in order to keep him around. The veteran left-hander struggled mightly for the first four months this past season with the Rangers (4.72 ERA over 20 starts) but rebounded with a 2.36 ERA over 12 outings with the Cubs. He will turn 35 next month.
Nov 2 - 12:37 PM




This makes me happy! Glad they saw fit to waste 20 million on this guy.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#2

Posted: November 02, 2018, 10:55 AM Post
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Why? Good lord, I cannot believe that.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#3

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:02 AM Post
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I have to disagree. It doesn't seem like a bad investment for the Cubs at all. He was pretty good after he got to Chicago and I think he has another good season left in him. Obviously the difference in payroll level between the Cubs and the Brewers is huge. Brewers started last year at 90 million, the Cubs at 180 million. For the Brewers this would be 22.2% of last year's payroll, for the Cubs it only represents 11.1% of last year's payroll. Schoop would probably represent somewhere between 9-10% of the Brewers 2019 payroll if he's offered arbitration, if the Cubs push the payroll to 200 million then Hamels represents 10% of that. I really don't see the 20 million dollar figure being out of line when looking at a big market team like the Cubs.

The Rangers have to be thrilled because the buyout was 6 million and if the Cubs would have declined the option then the Rangers would have been on the hook for that entire amount (was part of the trade agreement). The Rangers just got an extra 6 million to work with.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#4

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:09 AM Post
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It’s $14M for a middle of the rotation starter for a team with a massive payroll. How is this a bad deal for the Cubs?

They also removed Smyly and at least some of his $7 M off the books by trading him to the Rangers.


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Online  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#5

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:12 AM Post
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Rangers are still on the hook for $6M of the salary.

The Cubs essentially get Hamels for one year at $14M.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#6

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:12 AM Post
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The $14mm makes it much more palatable than $20mm, but that MOR starter was pretty blah for the last year and a half before getting to Chicago. I think it's unlikely at his age he does what he did again for the Cubs down the stretch. I don't know if it's terrible, or even bad...but I'm fine with it, let me put it that way.

The Cubs really don't have a ton of flexibility with their payroll this offseason. This could very well be the most expensive thing they do. I have a hunch that they will get more out of a few guys in '19 than they did this year though.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#7

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:13 AM Post
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Location: New Berlin, WI
Nothing like having two 35 year olds leading your rotation. Add in a 32 year old that missed most of the season, a 29 year old that throws 41 mph, and Quintana...who apparently is only good against the Brewers...that has WS written all over it. This $20 million pushes them around $215 million. Exercising this option also means they are basically punting on Chatwood, or they don't have confidence Darvish will be ready for opening day. Also means they don't have a rotation spot for a high profile FA signing in the rotation, barring a trade of course. I'm curious how a Cubs fan would argue they will compete with that pitching. Do they plan to go super-pen like the brewers? Or spend like drunken sailors on MM or BH and hope to have a super-lineup like the red sox? Or maybe they mostly stand pat and hope a new hitting coach can help guys like Russell, Schwarber, Happ, Almora, etc fulfill some of their potential? I just don't see enough pitching on this team to be a serious contender.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#8

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:16 AM Post
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reillymcshane said:
Rangers are still on the hook for $6M of the salary.

The Cubs essentially get Hamels for one year at $14M.


Interesting. The first article I had read on it this morning said the Rangers were only on the hook if he was bought out.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#9

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:21 AM Post
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Point Beer Is Best said:
reillymcshane said:
Rangers are still on the hook for $6M of the salary.

The Cubs essentially get Hamels for one year at $14M.


Interesting. The first article I had read on it this morning said the Rangers were only on the hook if he was bought out.


That was my impression. If the Cubs declined the option, then the Rangers pay the 6 million buyout. But if the Cubs picked up the option, then the Cubs pay the full 20 million.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#10

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:23 AM Post
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Does anyone know how this impact Luxury tax accounting? For cash accounting purposes (assuming no deferred money), Hamels would count $14M and $6M towards the Cubs and Rangers, respectively. But for the Luxury tax/payroll implications, is it the same? Or is all $20M entered in towards the Cubs' payroll? From what I've seen the Cubs are entering into 2019 with $200M in payroll on the books already.

Also - the Cubs have unloaded Drew Smyly and his $7M back on the Rangers today.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels; trade Smyly to Rangers
#11

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:27 AM Post
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$20 million is probably fine for Hamels from a value standpoint and the Cubs can afford it, but that's about the extent of how it helps them. He's very unlikely to outperform the contract and as a 35yo, there's certainly some age-based performance risk.

He can also continue to monitor the likelihood of a rivalry evolving between the Brewers and Cubs.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#12

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:45 AM Post
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I’ve seen it’s a $14 million LT hit for them (the $6 mil buyout was factored in to Hamels previous guaranteed years since it was guaranteed money) but they have to pay all $20 million in real money though. If you look at it as a Smyly for Hamels swap out it’s only $13 million of real money paid and a $9 million LT hit. I think it’s a fine move for them and he’ll be worth it. He made some real changes that seem sustainable when he got there.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#13

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:48 AM Post
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Why is that a good deal, for anyone?

Is 20 million for a re-tread starting pitcher a good deal for the Brewers?

I stand by my original opinion, glad it was them instead of us. I would wager that he comes no where near what he did for the Cubs when they first got him. He is going to digress, probably near his 1st half Ranger numbers.

Glad the Cubs wasted 20 million on this guy!


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#14

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:53 AM Post
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turborickey said:
Why is that a good deal, for anyone?

Is 20 million for a re-tread starting pitcher a good deal for the Brewers?

It's basically paying FA market price for 2 wins (though not necessary paying SP FA market price for 2 wins, in that respect the Cubs overpaid by a pretty good amount). If you think Hamels is a 2 WAR pitcher (whichever version of WAR you want to use), then it's an even deal in terms of value.

The difference between the Brewers and Cubs is that the Cubs can afford to pay some players $10 mil per win. They can pay their way to extra wins. The Brewers can't. The Brewers need to find value propositions to add extra wins.

So this is something that can make sense for the Cubs, but would not make sense for the Brewers.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#15

Posted: November 02, 2018, 11:54 AM Post
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OldSchoolSnapper said:
The $14mm makes it much more palatable than $20mm, but that MOR starter was pretty blah for the last year and a half before getting to Chicago. I think it's unlikely at his age he does what he did again for the Cubs down the stretch. I don't know if it's terrible, or even bad...but I'm fine with it, let me put it that way.

The Cubs really don't have a ton of flexibility with their payroll this offseason. This could very well be the most expensive thing they do. I have a hunch that they will get more out of a few guys in '19 than they did this year though.


I think Hamels got a bit of a shot of adrenaline going from a trash team to a pennant race. That shot of adrenaline probably wears off sooner than later. He's a soft tossing control pitcher with a number of below average offerings at this point in his career. He's either painting corners or getting pummeled.

Barring other significant adds, this team is going to be counting pretty heavily on bounce back years from a lot of guys. Russell, Schwarber, Almora, Contreras, Darvish, Quintana, Bryant, Edwards, Morrow. Some of those guys will, Bryant is probably a lock for 850+ OPS. I would bet against a majority of them having good years though. I would also bet on Baez falling back to earth a bit. He'll still be a good player, but I think he'll be more 270ish BA guy than 290 that he was last year. Going from MVP candidate to fringe all-star caliber guy is a pretty significant drop though.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#16

Posted: November 02, 2018, 12:00 PM Post
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And That said:
turborickey said:
Why is that a good deal, for anyone?

Is 20 million for a re-tread starting pitcher a good deal for the Brewers?

It's basically paying FA market price for 2 wins (though not necessary paying SP FA market price for 2 wins, in that respect the Cubs overpaid by a pretty good amount). If you think Hamels is a 2 WAR pitcher (whichever version of WAR you want to use), then it's an even deal in terms of value.

The difference between the Brewers and Cubs is that the Cubs can afford to pay some players $10 mil per win. They can pay their way to extra wins. The Brewers can't. The Brewers need to find value propositions to add extra wins.

So this is something that can make sense for the Cubs, but would not make sense for the Brewers.


It partially depends on their payroll limitations. IF they can easily go to $250 million or more payroll, yeah it's probably whatever for them. If they plan to cap themselves somewhere below that, then they chewed up a significant amount of remaining payroll. I'm not sure they NEED to do much adding, maybe a relief arm. But if they want to improve the outfield, 2b/ss(whichever baez doesn't play), or add an impact arm to the bullpen...this hurts their ability to do that quite a bit.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#17

Posted: November 02, 2018, 12:07 PM Post
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This isnt a terrible move. It is a meh move. Hamels isnt great. He cost a good bit of money, but the Cubs have money. This deal was made necessary by terrible deals with Chatwood and Darvish. They have a ton of money invested into a very old and not amazing staff.

The Cubs now have for next year
Lester at 27 million
Darvish at 20 million
Hamels at 20 or 14 million - I am trying to sort that out in this thread!
Chatwood at 12 million
Quintana at 10.5 million
Kendricks is arby eligible probably 8 million.

That is 98 million into what is not a super impressive rotation. 98 million! That is crazy. One number I saw had the Brewers payroll in June of this year at 96 million for the whole team


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#18

Posted: November 02, 2018, 1:14 PM Post
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This on top of significant arby raises to tagging whiz and likely MVP runner up Baez, Schwarber, likely option pickup on Strop, arby raise for Montgomery, arby bump for Bryant, continued big $ to Rizzo, Heyward, and Zobrist...and they're planning to after Harper or Machado???

That is going to be one ugly payroll, and their farm is still awful.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#19

Posted: November 02, 2018, 1:18 PM Post
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It is a one year deal for a major payroll, easy move to make.

If this was the Brewers and they didn't have a ton of young rotation pieces they would probably do the exact same and throw $14mil for a one year deal after pitching well for us.


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Offline  Re: Cubs picked up option for Cole Hamels
#20

Posted: November 02, 2018, 1:26 PM Post
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MrTPlush said:
It is a one year deal for a major payroll, easy move to make.

If this was the Brewers and they didn't have a ton of young rotation pieces they would probably do the exact same and throw $14mil for a one year deal after pitching well for us.


It just speaks to their dreadful offseason last year going after free agent pitching - the fact they are actually justified in having to make this move considering all the other options already under longterm deals is crazy.

Hamels pitched great for them over about 6 weeks, then was meh down the stretch - I think it could backfire on them spectacularly considering he's in his mid-30s and his overall 2018 stats point to a declining pitcher.

It also seems like the Cubs and Rangers love shuffling players back and forth with one another.


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