Cubs blew it on Cole Hamels, but there is still time to make an impactful trade

SHARE Cubs blew it on Cole Hamels, but there is still time to make an impactful trade

In this June 14, 2015, file photo, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. Two people familiar with the deal say the Phillies have agreed to trade Hamels to the Texas Rangers for a package of prospects. Both people spoke to The Associated Press late Wednesday night, July 29, 2015, on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized. Hamels has a limited no-trade clause but does not have to approve a deal to the Rangers. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

It was just a few days ago that then-Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels fired a no-hitter against the Cubs. It was the first time the Cubs had been held hitless in 50 years.

Everybody knew Hamels was on the trading block after that, since the wretched Phillies (despite a current mini-surge) are going nowhere and every contender in the league covets a true left-handed ace like Hamels.

His career record is 114-90, and he has never made fewer than 23 starts in any of his 10 years with the Phillies, the only team he has pitched for.

So wouldn’t he be a great addition to the young Cubs as they make a charge at the National League wild-card spot?

Sorry, Hamels went to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday in a trade that involved a lot of lesser players and prospects but mostly revolved around the $76 million or so Hamels is owed over the next three years. Plus a $20 million club option. Crazy money, for sure.

But that’s how things roll for star pitchers these days. Consider Clayton Kershaw has a seven-year, $215  million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander gets $180 million for seven years, and the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke gets $147 million for six years, and so on. You want a star, you’re gonna have to pay big.

The best attainable pitchers now appear to be Ian Kennedy, Jeff Samardzija and Yovani Gallardo. Maybe the Cubs are looking at one of them. Or maybe they’ll put all their efforts into getting a relief pitcher to hold on to games after the starter is out.

Or maybe it’s just too rich for their stomachs — this late-season acquisition thing. They’ve got a few more hours before the trade deadline, so we’ll see.

A hundred and six years and counting . . .

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