This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone. Everybody was looking for pitching – not at all surprising given the many injuries and sub-par performances on the mounds this season – but there weren't all that many starting pitchers available who were perceived to be difference makers. That didn't slow down all of the contenders however; they just shifted their focus to hopefully bolster their bullpens. Let's see how changes in latitudes might impact the key arms involved:
Cole Hamels to Chicago (NL):
Hamels moves to the Cubs in the midst of a disappointing season with Texas. He has been a winner throughout his career, but he has been haunted by the long ball the past couple of seasons (41 in his last 44 starts). His fastball is down a tick this season, and it would be reasonable to ask how much the 34-year-old has left in the tank. Don't consider this a prediction, but a 34-year-old with a 3.39 career ERA (Hamels' career ERA is 3.43) found new life after being dealt to a contending team in 2017. His name was Justin Verlander. I do think Hamels could step it up somewhat down the stretch.
J.A. Happ to New York (AL):
The Yankees aren't going to concede the AL East to the hated Red Sox, so they went out and got southpaw, veteran Happ from the Blue Jays. I have always liked Happ, and so do major league managers, as he seems to have become a hired gun