Less than a week after acquiring Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy at the MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers continued adding depth to their starting rotation in the form of longtime Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels.
The four-time All-Star and 2008 World Series MVP was signed to a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2021 season. He reportedly will receive a base salary of $1 million with the opportunity to earn more in incentives.
Hamels, now 37 years old, last pitched for the Atlanta Braves in 2020, although he managed to make only one start before being shut down with shoulder inflammation and fatigue.
The left-hander is healthy again and in the process of building up arm strength. “He’s going to be here on Saturday to throw a simulated game; it’ll probably be an up and down, two innings,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the immediate plan for Hamels.
“Then we’re going to continue to build him up as a starter. I’m thrilled that this happened. I’ve long admired Cole, his compete and how good of a ballplayer he is.
“For him to be a Southern California guy, to be a Dodger, I’m thrilled. He’s going to be a big boost for us. But first things first, we’ve got to get that pitch count and build him up.”
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Dodgers rotation at the moment, Hamels has an opportunity to be a significant contributor down the stretch.
His signing especially looks prudent with Clayton Kershaw being unable to throw in a second simulated game last weekend due to soreness. Tony Gonsolin also is on the 10-day injured list as a result of right shoulder inflammation.
Of course, Dustin May already has been lost for the year because of Tommy John surgery. Trevor Bauer additionally remains on administrative leave due to ongoing investigations into alleged sexual assault, and Duffy likely won’t make his Dodgers debut until September.
Over parts of 15 MLB seasons, Hamels has pitched to a 163-122 record with a 3.43 ERA, 3.68 FIP and 1.18 WHIP in 2,698 innings (423 games, 422 starts).
In his last full season with the Chicago cubs in 2019, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA, 4.09 FIP and 1.40 WHIP across 27 starts.
Ramirez designated for assignment to sign Hamels
To make room for Hamels on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Yefry Ramirez for assignment. The right-hander appeared in one game for L.A., tossing two scoreless innings in the finale of last weekend’s series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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