Cole Hamels expresses interest in joining White Sox

Cole Hamels told Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago on the White Sox Talk podcast that he has interest in joining the Chicago White Sox and that they have reached out. 

The left-hander expressed a desire to move to the south side of Chicago after spending 1 1/2 years with the Chicago Cubs.

“They have reached out,” Hamels said. “That was great to be able to hear. I know with the few guys that they’ve signed, I think that was kind of their focus. When they did talk to my agent, it was, ‘Hey, we’re putting something together. We have a few guys that we want to try to get first,’ which I think that’s what they’ve been doing, ‘but we really have some good interest and would like to talk further down the line.’ And I think that’s always really good to see.

“And then you see that they’re actually making moves, and that’s when you pay attention a little bit more, just because you have to see where you might actually fit into the situation.”

The White Sox level of activity, unsurprisingly, is a major draw to him and many other players as the team has ignored the stagnation the rest of the league has been in this offseason.

It’s interesting to note that the team made clear to Hamels that they have other needs to address first.

That likely is with regards to negotiating a deal with Zack Wheeler, who the White Sox have been said to be the highest bidder for, as reported by Tim Ryder of MMO.

If that is the case, the team might be pursuing two starters which would be a good idea as Lucas Giolito is the only established arm in the rotation currently.

Signing Wheeler and Hamels would leave the remaining two spots up for grabs between Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, and Michael Kopech with Carlos Rodon not factoring in until the second half.

In 2019, Hamels registered a 3.81 ERA, 4.09 FIP, and 1.391 WHIP with 9.1 K/9 as compared to 3.6 BB/9 over 27 starts (141 2/3 innings).

His strikeout rate is certainly a good sign as it was tied for the second-best mark in his career, but his walk rate was the worst of his career, although it wasn’t too bad by any means.

The concerning aspect of Hamels’ 2019 season was that he had a 5.79 ERA in the second half after posting a superb 2.98 ERA before the All-Star Game.

It could have just been a simple case of regular fatigue, but for a pitcher who will turn 36 before the end of the year, it certainly is alarming.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors projected Hamels to receive a two-year deal worth $30 million at the beginning of the offseason.

Next: What Are the Chances White Sox Sign Zack Wheeler?

While Cole Hamels certainly shouldn’t be the White Sox top priority or best starting pitching acquisition, the left-hander would be a smart addition for the team in 2020 and it appears there is strong mutual interest between himself and the club.

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