Cubs reportedly will acquire Phillies franchise icon Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels is reportedly heading back to the National League. (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

Cole Hamels appears to be coming to a National League contender, though the long-time Philadelphia Phillies ace won’t be returning to the place he spent the first nine-and-a-half seasons of his career.

According to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Cubs have landed the 34-year-old lefty. Like the Phillies, the Cubs weren’t one of the teams that Hamels could block a trade to with his partial no-trade clause, so it would appear that short of medicals holding up this trade, Hamels will be headed to the north side of Chicago.

The 2008 World Series MVP has an 11.12 ERA in four starts in July. Hamels’ ERA on the season now sits at 4.72. He’s allowing a career-high 1.81 HR/9. His 5.20 FIP is the fifth-worst mark among qualified starting pitchers. However, he seems likely to benefit from moving away from Globe Life Park, where he’s posted a 6.41 ERA in 10 starts this season. In 10 starts away from Globe Life Park in 2018, Hamels has a 2.93 ERA. Though Wrigley Field isn’t exactly known as a pitcher’s park, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs appear to be banking that a change of scenery (along with being injected into a postseason race) will allow Hamels to turn things around.

Hamels, a first-round pick by the Phillies in 2002, will likely become the Cubs No. 4 starter behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana. It’s unclear if and when Yu Darvish will return for the Cubs, which perhaps played into this trade.

With Hamels headed back to the National League, there’s a chance the Phillies could see him in the postseason. If the season ended today, the Phillies would meet Chase Utley and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The Cubs would meet the winner of the Wild Card Game, which, if the season concluded today, would be between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves. If both the Phillies and Cubs won in the NLDS, Hamels could return as an opponent in the Phillies first NLCS since 2010. Perhaps that’s getting ahead of things a bit much, but it’s hard not to think about.

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