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Cole Hamels trade official: Cubs send Eddie Butler to Rangers in deal

Cole Hamels says goodbye to Rangers teammates in the dugout Thursday night in Texas.

ST. LOUIS — The Cubs’ trade for pitcher Cole Hamels became official Friday morning, with big-league pitcher Eddie Butler included in the package going to the Texas Rangers in the deal.

Class A pitcher Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later also go to the Rangers, who pick up most of the remaining $14 million guaranteed on Hamels’ contract. The Cubs take on $5 million of that obligation.

Hamels has about $8 million left on this year’s salary plus a $6 million buyout on next year’s $20 million club option.

Lacy, an 11th-round draft pick last year, was 5-2 with a 2.45 ERA for advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

The Cubs and Rangers reached agreement Thursday night, pending physicals.

Butler, who returned this week from a groin injury, is best known for pitching seven innings of relief in the Cubs’ 17-inning loss to the Marlins in the second game of the season.

Butler got the win with an inning of scoreless relief in Thursday’s walkoff win over the Diamondbacks.

A groin injury landed him on the DL in late April.


Hamels, 34, is a four-time All-Star — most recently in 2016 — but has struggled this year (5-9, 4.72 ERA and 23 home runs in 20 starts).

But away from the Rangers’ hitter-friendly home park, he had a 2.93 ERA with seven homers allowed in 10 starts.

And in seven starts this season against teams currently in playoff position, he is 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA.

A longtime scout who watched Hamels’ last start said his command looked shaky but his velocity was as strong as it has been in recent years — which had been a concern earlier this season.