JP Morosi: Cubs are hoping Cole Hamels lifts their disappointing rotation

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JP Morosi joins Eric Karros and Mike Hill to discuss the Chicago Cubs trading for Cole Hamels.

- Cub's, of course, you know, looking good. First place in the NL Central. But why did the Cubs feel they need to make this move right now?

- Well, two things. Number one, I would say, maybe a bit of nostalgia. Three years and one day ago, a no hitter for Cole Hamels at Wrigley Field. So maybe some of that good mojo is still there. But more importantly, Mike, their rotation in Chicago has been a disappointment, at least in terms of their big acquisitions last winter time.

Yu Darvish, major contract. Tyler Chatwood, a big one as well. Chatwood leads the major leagues in walks right now. Darvish still on the DL. Eric, they had to find a way to upgrade that rotation, and maybe moving back to the National League out of the Texas heat. Two good changes there for Cole Hamels.

- Yeah, I mean, they hope so. He-- you know, he didn't pitch well at home. And he also didn't pitch well in day games. And day games and ERA over Aidan. Cubs, they've got a number of day games left. The move is, like JP mentioned, more nostalgic for me than anything because you can still go into a playoff series and just go with those three. Lester, Hendricks, and Quintana.

I still-- I still think that they need to get somebody for the bullpen. I mean, that's where it's more important. Yes, is Hamels better than Chatwood? And is he better than, you know, I mean, Darvish? Who knows what's going to happen right there. So it is an upgrade. There's no question about it. But do I think it's a difference maker? Not unless things change for Cole Hamels.

- So you still feel like the Dodgers are the team to bear in the NL despite this move.

- I do. I do. I do. I like the Dodgers. They're getting healthier. They're going to have more pitching options. And they still may make a move.

- You mentioned the bullpen. Could that be a possibility there, JP?

- For the Cubs, yes. And they've been linked to a number of different relievers as time has gone on. One of the biggest sellers of bullpen actually happens to be within their very same division, the Cincinnati Reds. But the Miami Marlins have some bullpen pieces to move, as do the Texas Rangers. Again, of course, they've already been talking to them about Hamels.

The one thought I had, too, about Hamels in general, Eric is this. 10 years ago, he was a World Series MVP. And I'm not saying he is like Justin Verlander a year ago. But sometimes, when you get the elite competitors out of a competitive environment-- and the Rangers have not been competitive this year-- that there's maybe a bit of that rejuvenation that goes on for him. Going to Wrigley Field in a pennant race, big games in that ballpark, you know the ballpark so well. That has a way of, I think, restoring that drive and that focus that maybe was waning here.

- Well, and I think there's something to be said about that. But also, remember Verlander going to Houston. I mean, there was a complete change in analytics as far as what he was experiencing in Detroit and then what he saw in Houston. And that has changed the way he pitches.

- And perhaps it's good to get out of Texas heat. I used to be down in Texas. It's torturous on any player that plays down there at Arlington, especially at home. Maybe that's why he's been doing better on the road as well.