Another pitcher of interest to the Giants has been swiped by the Braves.
The same team that traded for Mark Melancon and signed Will Smith has agreed to terms on a one-year, $17 million deal with Cole Hamels, according to multiple reports.
According to USA Today, the Giants were among the teams interested in the lefty, 36 this month, likely with the same thought process that brought them Drew Pomeranz and Derek Holland last season. They need rotation depth and Hamels, on a one-year deal, could have raised his value at Oracle Park and become a valuable trade-deadline chip. (Plus, the Giants have two starters etched into their rotation, and capable veterans would be welcome.)
The Braves landing Hamels, who was brilliant for the Cubs last season until August and an oblique injury (his 2.84 ERA on Aug. 3 finished at 3.81), could take them out of the Madison Bumgarner sweepstakes. It’s possible they splurge on the legendary Giants lefty, but they’ve already spent nearly $100 million this offseason (on Hamels, Smith, Travis d’Arnaud, Chris Martin, Tyler Flowers, Nick Markakis and Darren O’Day), and Bumgarner, from nearby North Carolina, would cost them in the range of $80-100 million.
Hamels will help lead a rotation that also includes Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz. Atlanta could use another option, as Julio Teheran and Dallas Keuchel are free agents.
The market for Bumgarner is still expected to be booming, with the Phillies, Twins, Padres and Yankees connected to the 30-year-old.
It’s possible the Giants and their face of the franchise reunite, but the odds took a tumble after Kevin Pillar was non-tendered, signaling San Francisco hopes to continue to develop in 2020 rather than be ready to win.