Cole Hamels has done nothing but get big outs and eat up innings for 14 years, but apparently Theo Epstein didn't include him in the plans for 2020.
After the Chicago Cubs missed the playoffs in what proved to be Joe Maddon's final season as manager, Epstein is already beginning the restructuring of the Cubs roster, declining to extend a $17.8 million qualifying offer to veteran starting pitcher Cole Hamels.
This feels like a deal that will come back to bite the Cubs in the butt early in the 2020 season.
Hamels, who posted a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts, was in a rotation that also featured Jon Lester, Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks last season. Only Hendricks posted a lower ERA.
With the free agent market outside of the big fish not super plentiful as far as starters go, and years of trades having gutted the Cubs' farm system of pitching talent, letting Hamels go comes off as an extremely puzzling move.
The David Ross era is already off to a strange start, as they prevented an underperforming staff from bringing back a rock solid starter. This is likely the start of an interesting (in both meanings of the word) offseason in Wrigleyville.