LEADING OFF: Hamels to Cubs, Escobar to Diamondbacks

Texas Rangers Starting Pitcher Cole Hamels

The Chicago Cubs have acquired left-hander Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers for several low minor-league prospects, sources told ESPN's Jesse Rogers and Jerry Crasnick, confirming a report by the Dallas Morning News. His Rangers contract contained a partial no-trade clause, but the Cubs were not among the teams he could block. With the Cubs over the last two seasons, he has an ERA of 3.98 in 11 starts and 10 relief appearances. He is now at the team's High A team in Myrtle Beach.

"To be able to change kind of the mindset, now to go on a first-place team, there's something inside of you that sparks when you get in those situations, " Hamels said.

The Cubs were in agreement with the Rangers in a trade that would net Cole Hamels. The lefty said he wasn't sure yet when he would make his first start for Chicago.

Hamels, 34, is 5-9 this season with a career-high 4.72 ERA in 20 starts. Had the Cubs not just traded for Cole Hamels, we'd be back here today wondering how much longer the Cubs can keep doing this with Tyler Chatwood, who cannot now throw strikes at a rate even *close* to acceptable enough to keep him in the rotation of a contender. Among starting pitchers with at least 90 innings this year, Chatwood's 19.4% walk rate leads the league ... by almost SIX PERCENTAGE POINTS.




A four-time All-Star, Hamels is 152-111 with a 3.43 ERA in his 14th season in the league.

The 34-year-old was drafted by the Phillies in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft and debuted with Philadelphia in 2006.

In his last home start for Texas before the deadline, Hamels allowed seven runs on Monday night against Oakland.

It has been a hard few years for the veteran not being able to lead the Rangers to a World Series.

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