The Braves have committed nearly $100 million thus far as they navigate the free agent market this offseason. On Wednesday they guaranteed $18 million to left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, who has long been a nuisance in opposition of the Braves. The veteran should be a steadying presence in an otherwise youthful Atlanta rotation, but is also a productive pitcher even at 36 years old.
While his fastball may not have the same zip that it did when he was an ace for the Phillies ten years ago, Hamels still possesses an elite changeup along with an array of effective pitches that complement his best offering. The Braves defense may also benefit Hamels, though he still managed to strike out over a batter per inning in 2019.
The club obviously still has a hole at third base and arguably another hole in the outfield, but signing Hamels should help to mitigate the losses of Julio Teheran and Dallas Keuchel from an innings standpoint. Hamels has largely been durable throughout his career, and should be an effective innings-eater at worst in 2020.
Demetrius examines just how effective the Braves have been this offseason as they continue to fill their biggest needs early.
The Braves still have some names left on their offseason shopping list to cross off, but they’ve made a huge dent in addressing their concerns and still have a lot of the offseason ahead of them to continue adding to the team. The bullpen additions were impressive, they’ve got their catching situation sorted out and now they’ve got themselves a proven veteran starter in the form of Cole Hamels for next season. There’s still more work to be done, but I think we can be confident in the front office doing what it takes to fill out the rest of their needs with quality talent.
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