The Atlanta Braves continue their spending spree by signing Cole Hamels on Wednesday afternoon. The Braves signed the left-handed veteran to a one-year deal worth 18 million dollars.
Following the season and departure of Dallas Keuchel, the Atlanta Braves needed to add a starting pitcher to round out their rotation of Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz, and Sean Newcomb, or whoever earns the final rotation spot. That left one slot remaining for the Braves to fill in the offseason. Names like Gerrit Cole or Madison Bumgarner were tossed around as options, but today the Braves got their guy in Cole Hamels.
Cole Hamels spent last season with the Chicago Cubs and, before that, the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. Hamels most successful years coming earlier in his career with the Phillies and Rangers but was also very effective for the Cubs during his time in Chicago. Hamels, who will turn 36 in December, will bring the veteran experience the Braves had last season when Dallas Keuchel was signed.
This move makes a lot of sense for the Braves and Cole Hamels. Hamels gets another big payday late in his career while the Braves get a veteran pitcher for just a year, assuring that the Braves don’t have to commit to any long-term deal that would hamper any of the young pitching prospects. Bumgarner was a name that has been attached to the Braves since last season, but him, reportedly, seeking a 4-5 year deal was a deterrent for the Braves and their front office. Hamels gets a one-year deal and can provide nearly the same as what Bumgarner would have brought to the team.
With Hamels signed, the Braves have had a very busy offseason. Add Cole Hamels to a list of Will Smith, Darren O’Day, Chris Martin, and Travis d’Arnaud, and the Braves have addressed almost every need before 2020. The complaints of the Braves not spending enough should be gone after this offseason. Clearly, this Braves front office is not afraid to spend money.
Now, with the bullpen, starting rotation, and catching positions all be addressed, the Braves can now shift their focus to third base and the outfield. This week, I wrote about Josh Donaldson, Mike Moustakas, and the Braves need for a third baseman. The Braves should focus on bringing Donaldson back to round this lineup out. With all the other moves the Braves have made, it’s time to bring Donaldson back into the fold.