IN BRIEF Braves reel in veteran left-hander Hamels
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.
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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.