CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have exercised their 2019 option on left-hander Cole Hamels, solidifying their rotation for next year.

Hamels, who turns 35 in December, went 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts after he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Texas. The $20 million option makes Hamels’ contract worth $158 million for seven years.

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-hander Drew Smyly and a player to be named to the Texas Rangers on Friday for a player to be named.

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