IN BRIEF Braves reel in vet­eran left-han­der Hamels

Orlando Sentinel - - SCOREBOARD -

Alex An­thopou­los be­lieves Cole Hamels can help the Braves win big in next sea­son— and help the team’s young starters have more suc­cess for years to come.

Hamels, who turns 36 this month. agreed Wed­nes­day to a one-year, $18 mil­lion con­tract with the busy Braves, one of the more ac­tive teams this off­sea­son.

An­thopou­los said young starters Max Fried and Mike Soroka will ben­e­fit from Hamels’ 14 sea­sons in the ma­jors.

“How you quan­tify that is hard, but I think there is real value,” An­thopou­los said. “We’re sign­ing Cole first and foremost be­cause we think he’s go­ing to help us win a lot of games and hope­fully get to the World Se­ries.”

Hamels was 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts last sea­son with the Cubs. He has 163 wins and a 3.42 ERA in 14 sea­sons. He be­gan his ca­reer with the Phillies, where he was a three-time All-Star in 10 sea­sons.

■ The Phillies agreed to terms with for­mer Mets RHP Zack Wheeler on a 5-year, $118 mil­lion con­tract, a source said, to be­gin an off­sea­son that cen­ters around their ro­ta­tion. Wheeler missed the en­tire 2015 and 2016 sea­sons af­ter un­der­go­ing Tommy John surgery. Healthy for 2018 and 2019, Wheeler com­bined for a 3.65 ERA and av­er­aged 8.9 strike­outs per nine in­nings over 60 starts . ... The An­gels ac­quired RHP Dy­lan Bundy from the Ori­oles for four mi­nor-league pitch­ers . ... RHP Carl Ed­wards Jr. and the Mariners fi­nal­ized a one-year con­tract with a $950,000 guar­an­teed salary . ... Play­ers who test pos­i­tive for opi­oids would en­ter treat­ment and not be sus­pended un­der the change to MLB’s drug agree­ment be­ing ne­go­ti­ated by man­age­ment and the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to union head Tony Clark. Talks to add test­ing for opi­oids be­gan fol­low­ing the death of An­gels P Tyler Sk­aggs . ... The mayor of St. Peters­burg, Fla., says the city will not al­low the Rays to pur­sue a plan to split home games be­tween new sta­di­ums that would be built in Florida and Mon­treal.

Col­lege foot­ball: USC de­cided to re­tain Clay Hel­ton, ex­tend­ing the head coach’s im­prob­a­ble 4 1⁄2-year ten­ure atop the West Coast’s win­ningest col­lege foot­ball pro­gram. New ath­letic di­rec­tor Mike Bohn an­nounced the de­ci­sion four days af­ter the Tro­jans (8-4, 7-2 Pac-12) missed out on a trip to the con­fer­ence ti­tle game when they fin­ished one game behind No. 5 Utah in the Pac-12 South . ... Mike Bobo has agreed to step down as coach at Colorado State af­ter a sec­ond straight los­ing sea­son. Bobo went 28-35 dur­ing his five sea­sons in Fort Collins . ... Michi­gan LB Josh Uche is en­ter­ing the NFL draft but not be­fore play­ing in the Wolver­ines’ bowl game.

Golf: U.S. Open cham­pion Gary Wood­land and Pa­trick Reed, who will be part of the U.S. Pres­i­dents Cup team next week, each man­aged a tough wind in the Ba­hamas to post a 6-un­der 66 and share the lead af­ter the open­ing round of the Hero World Chal­lenge in Nassau . ... World No. 1-ranked am­a­teur Takumi Kanaya birdied his fi­nal two holes for a 6-un­der 65 and two-stroke club­house lead at the Aus­tralian Open in Syd­ney. For­mer cham­pion Matt Jones was among those tied for sec­ond with a 67.

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