The Dodgers have agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Cole Hamels, a source confirmed Wednesday. The contract is not yet official, and the four-time All-Star isn’t expected to be in uniform when the Dodgers play the Houston Astros tonight.
The Dodgers were among many teams in attendance when Hamels, 37, threw for teams in July. Now, nearly a month later, the left-hander will join the most star-studded staff in baseball.
Max Scherzer is making his Dodgers debut tonight against the Houston Astros, six days after he was acquired from the Nationals in a blockbuster six-player trade. Walker Buehler, Julio Urías and David Price are currently holding down the rest of the starting rotation.
For all their growing star power, the Dodgers’ depth has been tested. Clayton Kershaw (elbow) and Tony Gonsolin (shoulder) are on the injured list. Trevor Bauer, meanwhile, hasn’t thrown a pitch since June after he was placed on administrative leave amid allegations of sexual assault. Each new acquisition makes the return of the Dodgers’ $102 million investment appear less probable.
The Dodgers sent prospect Josiah Gray to the Nationals in the trade for Scherzer, leaving their farm system short on major-league ready starters.
Hamels’ last appearance on a major-league mound was in September. After signing a one-year, $18 million free-agent contract with the Atlanta Braves, Hamels was limited to just one start in 2020 because of shoulder fatigue. It was the only season Hamels has lost due to injuries in a career that began in 2006.
Hamels spent his first 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that drafted him in the first round out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego in 2002. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 World Series, which the Phillies won in five games over the Tampa Bay Rays – a team built by current Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Chicago Cubs in 2019, his last full season. He’s 163-122 with a 3.43 ERA in 422 career starts, fourth among active pitchers.
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