Texas Rangers transactions: The Texas Rangers have traded Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs for pitchers Eddie Butler and Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later. The Rangers have also sent cash to the Cubs as part of this deal. Jon Heyman says that the Cubs’ total obligation to Hamels is $5 million, and with Hamels being guaranteed around $14 million between his remaining 2018 salary and his 2019 buyout, that would mean the Rangers are kicking in around $9 million on the deal.
(UPDATE — Jeff Wilson says the Rangers pay $2 million towards the 2018 salary, and pay the $6 million buyout if the Cubs decline the option on Hamels, but don’t pay anything for 2019 if the Cubs pick up the 2019 option)
Butler, 27, is a righthanded pitcher who has, prior to this year, mostly been a starting pitcher. Butler has split the 2018 season between the majors and AAA, and has started in the minors while working out of the pen in the majors. He’s a former first round pick in the 2012 draft who has not had much success in the majors — he’s a low strikeout guy with a career 5.71 ERA and 5.31 FIP, though since the start of 2017 he’s got a 3.98 ERA and a 4.46 FIP. If he performs like that going forward he’s a possible fifth starter, and I would guess the Rangers will give him a chance in the rotation the rest of the season. He’s joining the Rangers’ active roster.
Lacy, 23, we’ve talked about — he was a 11th round pick out of Creighton in 2017, got a $125,000 signing bonus, and is a righthander who has put up nice numbers in low-A before being promoted to high-A. Tepid has more to say about him, as well as Butler, in a piece that is up now.
The player to be named later is, I believe, a significant piece — maybe the key piece — in this deal, though we will have to wait and see who that is.
UPDATE II — Per Jon Daniels (via the beats), the Rangers will in a few weeks select the player to be named later from a pre-determined list of players that includes pitchers and position players.