The Atlanta Braves have signed left handed starter Cole Hamels to a one year deal worth $18 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
It was reported earlier this winter that Hamels was open to a short-term deal with a contender and that’s just what happened. The Braves were known to be in the market for at least one starting pitcher and elected to grab Hamels instead of pursuing the likes of Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner, who possessed a higher upside but at a much steeper cost in dollars and years.
Hamels, 36 later this month, rejuvenated his career after a mid-2018 trade sent him from the Rangers to the Cubs. The veteran southpaw made 40 starts with Chicago and posted an impressive 3.30 ERA with a 3.86 FIP, 4.11 xFIP, 8.96 K/9 and 3.26 BB/9. An oblique injury slowed him down in the second half of 2019, but before the injury struck he owned a 2.98 ERA and .658 OPS against.
The addition of Hamels adds a veteran alongside Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz in the rotation. One would assume the 5th spot will be given to one of the numerous young pitchers on the 40-man roster (Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright and others) although it’s not impossible to think they add another veteran this winter.
The Braves’ payroll for next season now sits around $130 million or so.
UPDATE - The Braves have officially announced the signing. They now have 38 players on the 40-man roster.