Eddie Butler included in Cubs trade for Cole Hamels


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Kevin Jaira - USA Today Sports
Kevin Jaira - USA Today Sports

ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Cubs today acquired left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels and a cash consideration from the Texas Rangers for right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler, minor league right-handed pitcher Rollie Lacy and a player to be named.

Hamels, 34, is a four-time All-Star with a 152-111 record and 3.43 ERA (944 ER/2,476.2 IP) in 383 career appearances (382 starts) covering 13 major league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies (2006-15) and Texas Rangers (2015-18). The 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP is 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA (38 ER/98.1 IP) in 16 career post-season starts. Hamels has one career solo no-hitter, tossed on July 25, 2015 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his final start as a member of the Phillies before being traded to the Rangers six days later.

The southpaw has reached double digits in victories in nine seasons, including the last three in a row into 2018, and ranks sixth among active pitchers with 2,341 strikeouts, eighth with 152 wins, ninth with a 1.17 WHIP and 13th with a 3.43 ERA, which is fourth lowest among all active left-handed pitchers and just ahead of new teammate Jon Lester (3.49 career ERA). Hamels is 33-15 (.688) with a 2.94 ERA (155 ER/474.1 IP) in 71 career starts against N.L. Central competition, his lowest ERA and best winning percentage against any of the six divisions throughout baseball.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hamels is 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA (60 ER/114.1 IP) in 20 starts with the Rangers this season, fanning 114 batters in 114.1 innings. He owns a 2.93 ERA on the road, which is tied for 12th-lowest in all of baseball, would tie for sixth-lowest in the National League and is the best road ERA among any Cub starting pitcher this year. Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA (8 ER/41.0 IP) in six career starts at Wrigley Field, the lowest ERA of any active pitcher with more than five career starts at the Friendly Confines.

Hamels most recently earned All-Star honors in 2016 when he went 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA (74 ER/200.2 IP) in 32 starts with the Rangers, his eighth season reaching 200.0 innings and his ninth season reaching 30 starts. He also earned All-Star honors in 2007, 2011 and 2012, when he set a career high with 17 wins and 216 strikeouts. Last year, Hamels went 11-6 with a 4.20 ERA (69 ER/148.0 IP) in 24 starts with Texas.

A native of San Diego, Hamels broke into the big leagues with the Phillies in 2006 at the age of 22. He earned his first All-Star honor in 2007 (15-5, 3.39 ERA) and in 2008 helped lead Philadelphia to its first World Championship since 1980. He would help the Phillies reach the World Series again in 2009, as Philadelphia remains the last N.L. club to reach the World Series in consecutive campaigns. Hamels was originally selected by the Phillies in the first round (17th overall) of the 2002 Draft.

Butler, 27, went 1-1 with 4.08 ERA (8 ER/17.2 IP) in eight relief appearances with the Cubs this season. He was acquired from Colorado on February 1, 2017 and went 5-4 with a 3.98 ERA (32 ER/72.1 IP) in 21 games (11 starts) with Chicago the last two seasons. Including his three seasons with the Rockies, Butler is 11-20 with a 5.71 ERA (147 ER/231.2 IP) in 57 career major league appearances, 39 as a starter and 18 in relief.

Lacy, 23, was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2017 Draft out of Creighton University. He has combined to go 5-2 with a 2.45 ERA (22 ER/80.2 IP) in 18 appearances (12 starts) between Single-A South Bend and Single-A Myrtle Beach this season.





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