The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers agreed to a trade on Thursday that will see left-hander Cole Hamels join Chicago for the stretch run.

Chicago Cubs Cole Hamels
The Texas Rangers are reportedly trading Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs for a package of minor league prospects. (Image: USA Today Sports)

According to several media reports, the Cubs picked up the four-time All-Star in exchange for a package of prospects from the low minor leagues.

Hamels History of Postseason Prowess

The 34-year-old Hamels isnt having a career year in Texas, where he has struggled to a 5-9 record and 4.72 ERA. However, most of those issues have come at home: away from Arlington, he has posted a 2.93 ERA.

But Chicago likely wants Hamels because of what he has accomplished over the course of his career rather than what he has done this season. Hamels has a 152-111 career record over 14 seasons, most of that time having been spent with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Importantly, Hamels has been a dependable postseason pitcher, going 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 career playoff starts. His biggest success came in 2008, when he won both the NLCS and World Series MVP awards as part of a 4-0 postseason for the southpaw.

Hamels will also help the Cubs bolster their struggling rotation for the remainder of the season. Free agent signing Yu Darvish has only made eight starts, going 1-3 with an unimpressive 4.95 ERA. Tyler Chatwood another offseason signing has been disappointing, leading the National League in walks allowed.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Texas will cover a significant amount of Hamels remaining salary. Hamels will make about $8 million over the remainder of the 2018 season.

Because the trade wont be official until after the players involved pass their physicals, neither team commented on the trade on Thursday.

The Cubs currently lead the Milwaukee Brewers by 2.5 games in the NL Central. William Hill lists Chicago as a 9/1 pick to win the World Series this year.

Yankees Add Happ for Divisional Race

Hamels wasnt the only pitcher to change teams on Thursday. The New York Yankees announced that they had acquired lefty JA Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays, sending back infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney in the deal.

Im really excited about this, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the trade was announced. This is a guy whos obviously had a really good career, hes having a good year this year.

Happ has a 10-6 record with a 4.18 ERA so far this season, and was selected to his first All-Star Game. The 35-year-old is only two years removed from his best season, when he was a 20-game winner for the Blue Jays.

Happ could play an important role in the AL East title race. He has been strong against the Red Sox historically, and has a 0.84 ERA against Boston in two starts this year though he did give up five unearned runs in a July 12 start against the team.

That was one of several poor starts for Happ lately, though Boone said hes not worried about the pitchers apparent struggles.

Some of thats a little bit deceiving, Boone said. Some of the peripheral numbers suggest hes been a lot more like hes been all year.

The Yankees (5/1 to win the World Series) are currently 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings.