The Cubs still hope to keep Cole Hamels, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link), but there may be some steps taken before formally bringing him back. A multi-year contract between the two sides, at this point, is “unlikely,” per Rosenthal, who notes that the Cubs might make a trade to clear some salary off the books before exercising their $20MM option on Hamels.
It’s not immediately clear why the Cubs would feel the need to shed salary before picking up the option. Chicago dipped under the luxury tax threshold this past season, and Hamels’ $20MM salary for the 2019 campaign wouldn’t have any bearing on the team’s 2018 luxury tax ledger. Beyond that, Chicago appears poised to spend in perhaps significant fashion this offseason as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer and the rest of the front office look to upgrade a roster that fell shy of expectations when it lost the National League Wild Card game to the Rockies. Given the fact that they’re already likely to add to the payroll, it’s curious to see the suggestion that salary must be shed before free agency truly begins …Read the Rest
Source:: MLB Trade Rumors