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.
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.