Dodgers agree to deal with Cole Hamels

August 5th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran left-hander , the team announced Wednesday. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated right-hander Yefry Ramírez for assignment.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but sources told that it is for $1 million, and Hamels would get an additional $200,000 for every start he makes.

Hamels made just one start with the Braves in 2020 before left triceps tendinitis and shoulder fatigue ended his season. In '19, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 143 strikeouts across 27 starts.

With questions surrounding his health, Hamels worked out for scouts last month and the Dodgers came away impressed enough to continue conversations with the left-hander. Even after adding Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy at the Trade Deadline, Los Angeles felt it needed to add more pitching depth for the final two months of the regular season.

Part of the need for pitching depth is because of the uncertainty surrounding Clayton Kershaw’s recovery from left forearm inflammation and Tony Gonsolin continuing to battle right shoulder issues. Duffy won’t be ready to return until September and even then, he could end up being used as a multi-inning reliever instead.

Kershaw was scheduled to throw one more simulated game over the weekend, but residual soreness in the elbow/forearm area forced the Dodgers to pivot. The future Hall of Famer has continued to work out, but Los Angeles isn't sure when he’ll be able to throw another simulated game; thus, there’s still no timetable for his return.

“They’re just kind of in idle mode right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, when asked about Kershaw and Gonsolin. “I think neither one is playing catch and we have to get the pain to dissipate. When they pick up a baseball and start their progression, it’ll be news, but we’re just kind of holding right now.”

Gonsolin and Kershaw’s recoveries are certainly concerning for a Dodgers team that hasn’t been able to get completely healthy at any point this season. The Dodgers are benefitting from a couple of scheduled off-days, which have allowed them to ride a four-man rotation until Aug. 14 against the Mets.

David Price will get the start on Friday against the Angels, with Julio Urías and Walker Buehler rounding out the weekend. If all pitchers stay on line, the Dodgers will have to find a starter for the Aug. 14 game against the Mets, or go without another bullpen game.

Hamels won’t be an option for the Dodgers, as he will instead report to the Dodgers’ Spring Training facility in Arizona to continue to build up his arm strength. It’ll be at least a couple of weeks before Los Angeles leans on Hamels to make a start for the big league club.

“To have a guy that you know you can trust and go deep in games is important,” Roberts said. “We’ve always talked about depth and specifically the pitching, and I think we’ve tapped into that depth where we’re at right now.”