After spending the first decade of his career in the National League East, Cole Hamels is returning to the division he played in at the beginning of his career.
The veteran is not coming back to the Philadelphia Phillies though. He will instead be joining their division rival, the Atlanta Braves.
Hamels spent the last year and a half pitching in Chicago, after being traded to the Cubs in the middle of the 2018 season. Hamels pitched to a 3.30 ERA across 39 starts during that span.
Hamels will turn 36 years old at the end of this month, but there appears to be plenty left in the tank for the four-time All-Star.
The left-hander has a lot to play for at this point, since he is really a borderline Hall of Famer. With a career 3.42 ERA and a 59.6 WAR, Hamels has some of the attributes needed for induction.
Hamels also has a NLCS and a World Series MVP on his resume, for when he led the Phillies to their second World Series title in 2008.
The Atlanta Braves have won the NL East in each of the last two seasons and certainly expect to contend for another division title in 2020.
Hamels will be a great addition to what is an otherwise very young starting rotation, as the Braves hope to make a deep playoff run.
Nationals Re-Sign NLCS MVP and World Series Hero Howie Kendrick
The Washington Nationals would not have won the World Series this year if not for Howie Kendrick.
It seemed like every time the Nationals needed a big hit in the playoffs, it was Kendrick that came up to the plate and delivered.
Now just before the Winter Meetings the Nationals have made one of their first moves of the offseason by bringing back the NLCS MVP on a one-year, $6.25 million deal.
Kendrick, 36, had a great season even before October, hitting .344 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs across 120 games played.
Then came the postseason, where Kendrick’s first clutch hit came in Game 5 of the NLDS, as Nationals upset the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the game tied in extra-innings, Kendrick hit a grand slam that gave Washington a commanding lead and ultimately allowed them to advance to the NLCS.
In the NLCS, Kendrick hit .333, with four doubles, four runs scored and four RBIs. Following the four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, Kendrick was named the NLCS MVP.
Then in the World Series against the Houston Astros, Kendrick went 7-for-25. The most significant of those hits came in Game 7, when Kendrick delivered the biggest hit in Nationals history.
Now Kendrick gets to return to the Nationals and try to defend their title in 2020.
Blake Snell’s Hilariously Harsh Reaction to Teammate Tommy Pham Being Traded
If you have ever wondered how a player will react to the news that one of their teammates has been traded, you are in luck.
Thanks to Twitch, the live streaming service that video gamers use, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell’s reaction to the news of teammate Tommy Pham getting traded went viral late Thursday night.
Snell is immediately upset as he discovers that one of the best hitters on his team has been traded, “For Hunter Renfroe and some slap-d*** prospect!”
Pham, 31, is coming off a great season, as he hit .273/.369.818, with 21 home runs, 68 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. He was originally traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Rays at the deadline in 2018.
After the shock of the trade settled in a little bit, Snell was able to give more context to his reaction on the trade, as Pham was really integral to a team that won 96 games last year.
As Snell pointed out, the trade is sending Rays outfielder Tommy Pham to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Hunter Renfroe and top prospect Xavier Edwards.
Renfroe, 27, will replace Pham in the Rays outfield and while he does not bring the same athleticism, he does have a big bat. Renfroe has 85 home runs over the last three years, 33 of which he hit last season.
Renfroe is a .235 career hitter, but the Rays should be able to find solid production out of him next season.
The real coup of the trade was the prospect Snell was so affectionate towards, as Edwards has the chance to be a future star for the Rays.
Edwards was drafted by the Padres in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He is a middle infielder that will likely have the versatility to play all over the diamond, maybe becoming a super utility type player.
Last season, Edwards hit .322/.375/.396, with 34 stolen bases and 76 runs scored across two levels of the Single-A, finishing the year in High-A.
That means that despite just turning 20 years old in August, Edwards is already a few promotions away from the big leagues. Once there, Edwards can try to mend fences with Snell after his brilliant introduction to the Rays.
New York Yankees Are Making Gerrit Cole Their Top Priority
Over the last couple of years, the New York Yankees have been uncharacteristically quiet during free agency, avoiding spending top dollar for the best players on the market.
But we always knew that at some point, the Yankees would go back to being the Yankees and Gerrit Cole appears to be the player they have been waiting for.
There are sure to be plenty of team vying for the services of Cole, after he had two great years pitching for the Houston Astros.
Cole was especially brilliant in 2019, pitching to league-best 2.50 ERA, while also pacing the AL in strikeouts with 326.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and the Yankees have all been seen as suitors for Cole, but now it appears that New York won’t be outbid.
With this many teams in on the bidding, there is no telling how large of a contract Cole may receive.
It would not be surprising to see Cole become the first pitcher to ever receive a contract exceeding $300 million.
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