Left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels has agreed to the terms of a one-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Braves, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
As one of the many free-agent lefty starting pitchers on the market, the Braves snagged the 35-year-old in hopes of bolstering their rotation. Last season the Braves' rotation was 12th in ERA and in the bottom half of the league in batting average against.
Likely, this indicates that Dallas Keuchel's half-season tenure is done after being picked up by the club in the middle of the 2019 season. The former Cy Young winner is a free agent this off-season and notably held out for the first half of last year in hopes of a big contract. That half-season contract gave Keuchel $13 million and below-expectation numbers for the Braves in the top half of their rotation.
For Hamels, he joins Mike Soroka, a fellow lefty in Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz in Atlanta's rotation.
Last season Hamels had one of the worst seasons, statistically, of his 14-year career. With the Cubs, he posted a 7-7 record and a 3.81 ERA, clearly on the downside of his time in the majors. Hamels is far removed from his World Series MVP performance in 2008 with the Phillies. He is not the best target of this year's Southpaws but will bring experience to a young corps of pitching.
The Nationals and other NL East opponents will once again have to go through two left-handers in the Braves rotation. Other top-tier lefty pitchers Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Keuchel and Wade Miley are still available in the free-agent market.
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