If Zack Wheeler departs via free agency, the Mets will have a hole to fill in the starting rotation. Should they consider filling it with a former bitter rival?
Cole Hamels, who will turn 36 years old before the 2020 season, had a 3.81 ERA (4.09 FIP) and 1.39 WHIP with 143 strikeouts in 141.2 IP (27 starts) this past season for the Cubs.
At this stage, Hamels -- who spent the first nine years of his career with the Phillies -- is looking to land with a contender. And he's open to inking a one-year deal, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
Hamels isn't what he once was, but he features the same four-pitch mix he's been using since 2010 with the Phillies. As far as velocity goes, Hamels' average fastball velocity this past season was 91.4 mph. His average fastball velocity in 2010? 92.0 mph.
The Mets inking Hamels wouldn't give them a pitcher with the upside of Wheeler (or Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg), but as a No. 5 starter to slot in behind Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz, the Mets should be intrigued.
"I'm not there to handcuff somebody or an organization," Hamels told Zolecki while also discussing the potential of a reunion with the Phillies. "That's what the younger guys can do. I can do one year here and there and just play as long as I can play. I think that's what will help give me an opportunity to play on teams that are trying to go to the postseason. If you need one guy, I can just kind of bounce around."
During his 14-year career with the Phillies, Rangers, and Cubs, Hamels has a 3.42 ERA (3.69 FIP) and 1.18 WHIP with 2,558 strikeouts in 2,694.2 IP (421 starts).