Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels walks out of the Rangers' dugout, next to manager Jeff Banister during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

LEADING OFF: Hamels to Cubs, Escobar to Diamondbacks

July 28, 2018 - 3:54 am

A look at what's happening around the majors today:

FIRED-UP COLE

Cole Hamels goes from last place to first place when he joins the Chicago Cubs during this weekend's series at St. Louis. The Cubs got the left-hander Friday, trading pitchers Eddie Butler and Rollie Lacy and a player to be named to Texas.

Hamels is in the midst of perhaps the worst year of his career, going 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts with the Rangers. He is 1-3 with an 11.12 ERA in four starts in July. But the 34-year-old Hamels is an experienced postseason pitcher — he was the NL Championship Series and World Series MVP when Philadelphia won the title in 2008.

"To be able to change kind of the mindset, now to go on a first-place team, there's something inside of you that sparks when you get in those situations," Hamels said.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Switch-hitting infielder Eduardo Escobar is headed to Arizona after the NL West contenders got him from Minnesota Twins on Friday for minor league right-hander Jhoan Duran and outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad.

The 29-year-old Escobar hit .274 with 15 home runs, 63 RBIs and a major league-best 37 doubles for the Twins.

SHIFTING AROUND

Asdrubal Cabrera moved around a lot for the Mets, switching spots all over the infield. He's now on the go to the NL East-leading Phillies, who got him Friday night for Double-A pitcher Franklyn Kilome.

Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak said Cabrera fills the team's most pressing need. The 32-year-old Cabrera was hitting .277 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs as the Mets' second baseman, and is likely to join the Phils this weekend in Cincinnati.

HAPPY DAY

J.A. Happ is expected to arrive at Yankee Stadium after plane trouble interrupted his travel plans. The Yankees got the left-hander from Toronto on Thursday in a trade for infielder Brandon Drury and minor league outfielder Billy McKinney. Happ is set to make his Yankees debut on Sunday when he starts against Kansas City.

HELP, PLEASE!

Mets ace Jacob deGrom has been dominant this season, posting a 1.71 ERA that is by far the best in baseball. He's also struck out 159 in 131 1/3 innings. All great stats, except in one department — his win-loss record is 5-5. Hurt by a lack of run support, deGrom hopes to go over the .500 mark when he makes his 21st start this year, pitching at Pittsburgh.

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