No Cole Hamels reunion this year, Phillies fans.
The Cubs decided Friday to pick up the $20 million club option on Hamels' contract. They could have let Hamels become a free agent while saddling the Rangers with his $6 million buyout, but the Cubs are a big-market team with rotation needs. Why let Hamels walk after that stellar second half?
Even without Hamels on the free-agent market, there are still several intriguing options for the Phillies, particularly lefties. Even below the Patrick Corbin tier, there is J.A. Happ and Dallas Keuchel. I personally have doubts about Keuchel having much success here, given his rising hit totals, propensity to keep the ball in play and the Phillies' below-average infield defense.
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Here are the top available arms and how much money they could command (see story).
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