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Cole Hamels signs with Braves

He gave the Cubs a good year and two months.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

You didn’t really think Cole Hamels was going to re-sign with the Cubs, did you?

I’ll admit. I sort of did. I thought maybe they’d offer him something like a two-year, $28 to $30 million deal, give him security for his age 36 and 37 seasons.

He decided to take one year, for more dollars:

I wouldn’t have committed that much 2020 Cubs payroll money to Hamels, so I wish him well in Atlanta. If he can avoid things like the oblique injury he suffered last June, he can probably put together one decent-to-good year for the Braves, but again, that’s too many dollars for the Cubs, who could use that elsewhere.

Hamels made 39 starts for the Cubs, threw 218 innings, posted a 3.30 ERA and 1.289 WHIP, and struck out 217 batters. Over the one and a fraction seasons he was in blue pinstripes, he posted 5.5 bWAR, which is pretty darn good. It’s a shame he lost a month to the oblique injury last summer and wasn’t effective when he returned. That might have gotten the Cubs closer to a postseason berth.

The Cubs will visit Atlanta July 10-11-12, just before the All-Star break, so perhaps we’ll see Hamels then. The Braves are at Wrigley Field for a four-game series August 3-4-5-6, so it’s more likely they’ll run into the big lefthander then.

I don’t think I need to remind you what Hamels did to the Cubs in July 2015. He also started against the Cubs for the Rangers in 2016 and threw eight innings, allowing one unearned run. Lifetime in Wrigley Field, Hamels has a 2.20 ERA and 1.061 WHIP in 25 starts, so it’s good news for the Cubs that he didn’t sign with an N.L. Central team.

Thanks for the memories, Cole, and good luck in Atlanta.