ABOVE PHOTO: Cole Hamels (Photo: By Rick Seeney / shutterstock)
By Charles Odum
ATLANTA (AP) — Left-hander Cole Hamels agreed to an $18 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, one of the more active teams of the offseason.
The 35-year-old gives the Braves a veteran to replace Julio Teheran, who became a free agent after his $12 million team option was declined.
Hamels joins Mike Soroka, 22, Max Fried, 25 and Mike Foltynewicz, 28, as the Braves’probable top four starters. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said recently that left-hander Sean Newcomb, who spent most of the 2019 season in the bullpen, will be given a chance to win a starting job in spring training.
Among other contenders for the final spot in the rotation will be Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson and Ian Anderson, one of the team’s top prospects.
Hamels spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, going 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts last season.
Hamels has 163 wins and a 3.42 ERA in 14 seasons. He began his career with Philadelphia, where he was a three-time All-Star in 10 seasons.
He finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting for the Phillies in 2011, when he was 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA. He was 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 2012.
Atlanta has given left-handed reliever Will Smith, a possible closer, a $40 million, three-year contract and added catcher Travis d’Arnaud for a $16 million, two-year deal.
Atlanta also has re-signed four players: outfielder Nick Markakis, catcher Tyler Flowers and relievers Darren O’Day and Chris Martin.