Shoulder issues have limited Cole Hamels to just one start over the past two seasons. The 37-year-old has no plans to retire, though, and Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports (on Twitter) that the veteran free agent recently underwent surgery to address his latest injury. According to Morosi, Hamels expects to be ready to return to game action by late summer 2022.
It’ll probably be another quiet offseason for Hamels, who lingered on the free agent market until early August this year after an injury-wrecked 2020 campaign with the Braves. The Dodgers eventually took a low-risk flier on the four-time All-Star. That didn’t pay off, as he suffered his latest injury while ramping up his throwing program and didn’t appear in a game with Los Angeles. Now facing another extended absence, it’s possible Hamels and his representatives at John Boggs & Associates don’t pursue another job until he’s further along in his rehab process next year.
Whenever Hamels is healthy enough to conduct a showcase, he should still attract interest from plenty of contending teams looking to bolster their pitching depth. After all, the southpaw was an effective hurler during his last healthy campaign. Over 141 2/3 innings with the 2019 Cubs, Hamels worked to a 3.81 ERA. He’d offered middle or top of the rotation production for essentially his entire career until these persistent woes cropped up, so it’s likely there’ll be plenty of teams willing to do their due diligence in evaluating his form after this latest rehab effort.