Cubs Reportedly Show Interest in RHP Jason Hammel and Meet with Scott Baker’s Agent

The Cubs are exploring ways to improve their pitching staff and would like to add both starters and relievers to the mix. According to a report from Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs have shown interest in free agent Jason Hammel.

The Cubs are at least one of 12 teams that have shown interest in Hammel this winter. The Pirates, Royals, Braves and Hammel’s former team, the Orioles, have checked in with Hammel of late according to Morosi.

The veteran right hander was thought to be looking for a three-year contract but most of the teams interested in Jason Hammel are looking at signing him to a one-year contract since he has dealt with injuries the past two seasons. Hammel dealt with a forearm injury and a possible right flexor mass strain last season.

The 31-year old Hammel posted a 15-14 record over two seasons with Orioles. In 46 games, 43 starts, Hammel ended up with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

Jed Hoyer confirmed the Cubs’ interest in re-signing Scott Baker on Tuesday when he mentioned he met with Baker’s agent.

Scott Baker signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Cubs last winter. But a setback in his rehab from Tommy John Surgery in February forced Baker to spend a majority of the year on the DL continuing his rehab.

Baker made three starts for the Cubs in September and looked good in the first two, and not-so-good in his last outing at Wrigley. Scott Baker ended up allowing six runs on nine hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 15 innings (3.60 ERA, 0.87 WHIP). Baker’s velocity was obviously down but had decent command and said he felt good at the end of the season.

If the Cubs sign either Jason Hammel or Scott Baker, both would likely be to a one-year deal to help build their value for next winter. And in turn, the Cubs would flip them before the July deadline and turn them into long-term, controllable assets.

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  • Denver Mike

    I just saw where Cruz is looking for a contract in the $100M range, and reportedly turned down a $75M offer from the Mariners. It is just insane what even a recent PED user can command on the FA market.

    I think it was a shame that the Cubs couldn’t get J.P. Arencibia, should have been able to beat 1 year and $1.8M and I would think he would have been better than Kottaras. I never really heard them connected to him at all.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Drugs…the Downfall of American Baseball

    • Neil

      Arencibia is not known as a good receiver and right now they are committed to Castillo as being their everyday catcher.

      I did not hear/read the Cubs had any interest in him but I would imagine his questionable defense was one of the reasons.

      • Denver Mike

        Very true on his defense, I also seemed to remember that he strikes out quite a bit and walks very little so I looked it up. 148K / 18BB last year in 497PA, 5.4 K/BB for his MLB career. That doesn’t exactly look like someone this FO is interested in.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Look at Kotteras defense, or rather, lack thereof.

          For his career he averages giving the opposition an extra 10 runs per year.
          Translation: he’s awful.

          Let’s compare that to J.P. Arencibia. You might be surprised to know that

          he’s better defensively, allowing only 3 extra runs per year.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Hammel wants a 3 year deal…so he is out for the Cubs….
    and Scott Baker looking for a 2 year with a third year option……not going to happen under Theo’s watch….Baker has too many question marks….not worth enough for a “Flip”………
    Cubs starting pitching of Reuschel, Krukow, Bonham Burris & Lamp from the 70’s looking better then what we have now.

  • cubtex

    Bruce Levine tweeted that Cubs looking for a good left hand hitting bat even though they have 3 left handed outfielders.

    • SuzyS

      From the department of the redundancy department….Sounds like they might plan on someone else in the outfield…cubtex.

      • cubtex

        One can only hope Suzy :)

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Yankees should trade for Cole Hamels and/or Cliff Lee. Phillies love overpaid old guys…Yankees have those in spades. I think we got a match here!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tyler Skaggs and his problems:
    Keith Law says it is due to the D’Backs pitching coaches.

    “Still just 22 years old, Skaggs took a step back in 2013 as the Diamondbacks shortened his stride, resulting in a higher release point that cost him several miles per hour on his fastball and depth on his breaking ball. Lengthen him out so he finishes out over his front side again and he should be back to 90-94 mph again with the hammer he had as recently as 2012, when he projected as a potential No. 2 starter and was the best left-handed starter prospect in the game.”

  • 07GreyDigger

    I like the idea of Hammel. Good buy low candidate.