The Atlanta Braves are set to sign free agent pitcher Cole Hamels to a one-year deal worth $18 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Hamels went 7-7 with 143 strikeouts over 141 2/3 innings and had a 3.81 ERA with the Cubs last season.
Hamels has proved to be a durable starter, pitching 24 or more games in each of his 14 seasons without big drop offs in his metrics. The Braves have invested a large sum of cash this winter though. Passan tweets that they have $82.75 million wrapped up in Hamels, Travis d’Arnaud, Will Smith, Chris Martin, Tyler Flowers, Nick Markakis and Darren O’Day.
Hamels talked about wanting to join a contender, so joining the Braves took precedence over landing a multi-year deal with a team that might not be in contention. Atlanta’s rotation now consists of Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz and Hamels. They declined Julio Teheran’s $12 million club option, so they could still be on the lookout for another free agent starter.