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Chicago Cubs picking up option on Cole Hamels, trading Drew Smyly

The Chicago Cubs are picking up the option on left-hander Cole Hamels‘ contract for the 2019 season, sources told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Sources also said the Cubs will trade left-hander Drew Smyly to the Texas Rangers.

Hamels will make $20 million next season on the team option. The Cubs had until 4 p.m. ET Friday to make a decision on retaining him. Had the Cubs declined Hamels’ option, the Rangers would have had to pay him a $6 million buyout as part of the July trade that sent him to Chicago.

The 34-year-old Hamels went 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA in 32 starts in 2018. Hamels and his agent, John Boggs, have said they would be open to exploring a longer-term deal.

Smyly did not pitch for the Cubs last season as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June 2017. Smyly, 29, has a career ERA of 3.74, with a 31-27 record in five seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Trading Smyly will save the Cubs $7 million in 2019 as they prepare for free agency.

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