CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs have exercised their 2019 option on left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels on Friday, solidifying their rotation for next year.
The $19 million option makes Hamels' contract worth $157 million for seven years. Hamels, who turns 35 in December, went 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts.
Hamels gives manager Joe Maddon a deep group of starting pitchers as the Cubs try for their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish also are expected to return, with Mike Montgomery and Tyler Chatwood waiting in the wings.
The Cubs also traded left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers.