From the Wire: Cubs Reportedly Agree to Terms on a One-Year Contract with RHP Jason Hammel

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent RHP Jason Hammel. Jon Heyman and Jeff Passan reported the deal includes a $6 million base with $1 million incentives package.

Ken Rosenthal indicated the deal is pending a physical and is not official.

Jason Hammel was 7-8 in 26 games, 23 starts, for the Orioles last season with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. In 139 1/3 innings, Hammel gave up 155 hits with 48 walks and 96 strikeouts. The Cubs appear to be looking at Hammel as another Scott Feldman-Paul Maholm signing.

The veteran right hander was thought to be looking for a three-year contract but most of the teams interested in Jason Hammel were looking at signing him to a one-year contract since he has dealt with injuries the past two seasons. Hammel had 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.

The Cubs have not announced the signing and will have to make a roster move to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Hammel. The Cubs’ big league roster currently stands at 40 players.

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  • Vivid_Reality

    Out of the remaining options, Hammel was the best, imo.

    • GaryLeeT

      When you say he’s the best option, I assume you mean to save money, and not try to win games. I agree.

      • daverj

        I think he meant a little of both … the best pitcher among the low priced options which were Hammel, Maholm and Capuano.

      • Vivid_Reality

        You people just drain the enthusiasm out of me, its not even funny. Do you really think Hammel is capable of winning less games than the other options we have as a 4th or 5th starter?

        I really don’t know where this fabrication of saving money to not try and win came from. It has never been about that. It was always about shredding the burdens of the previous regime. Cutting payroll and getting out of troublesome contracts just happens to be a by-product of that.

        • GaryLeeT

          They needed to shed troublesome players, more than contracts. That was done 2 years ago. What’s your ideal plan? Play the kids? See what they’ve got?

          • Vivid_Reality

            My ideal plan is what is happening. The only thing I haven’t really agreed with has been the E-jax signing but even that won’t be too hampering.

          • GaryLeeT

            That’s not a plan, that’s telling me the sky is blue. What are the next steps, and when do they happen?

          • Vivid_Reality

            Its just a waiting game. If Castro and Rizzo had good seasons it would be more clear but they didn’t. We need at least a couple prospects to come up and establish themselves so we have a better idea of our roster composition. Then we add pieces via free agency or trade. Then you pray.

          • GaryLeeT

            So in another 3 or 4 years, we’ll see how the kids pan out, and then start adding pieces accordingly?

          • Vivid_Reality

            You know except that Baez, Alcantara, Hendricks, and Villanueva are all almost ready with a host of other prospects slated to be at AA. We should have 4-5 prospects starting at the majors by mid season next year.

          • GaryLeeT

            Castro started his ML career 3 years ago, and there are still question marks surrounding him as a puzzle piece to the dynasty. I mean, you could play this waiting on prospects game forever.

          • Vivid_Reality

            Where exactly do you think established major league players come from?

          • GaryLeeT

            They sure as heck didn’t all start their careers in the farm system of the team they are playing for.

          • daverj

            Really? Have you been watching the top teams in the NL Central?

            The 2013 Cardinals entire lineup except for Beltran and Holliday was from their minor league system (along with their best bench bat Matt Adams). And their rotation … Shelby Miller, Lynn, Wacha, Joe Kelly and Jaime Garcia were homegrown while Wainwright was acquired while he was a minor leaguer.

            Also, look at the playoff Pirates team last season … the core of their offense in Cutch, Alvarez, Walker and Marte was homegrown. From their rotation … Cole was homegrown and Morton and Locke were acquired as minor league prospects.

            How about the Reds? … Votto – Reds minor leaguer
            Bruce – Reds minor leaguer
            Cozart – Reds minor leaguer
            Frazier – Reds minor leaguer
            Bailey – Reds minor leaguer
            Cueto – Reds minor leaguer
            Cingrani – Reds minor leaguer
            Leake – Reds minor leaguer

            Even the Dodgers who have been spending hundreds of millions on free agents were led by the ace they developed in Kershaw (along with Kemp and shutdown closer Kenley Jensen).

          • GaryLeeT

            Take the Reds. That’s still only 8 out of the 25 you need. The Cards? They have an established team that they can filter up to, and Beltran & Holliday were no small pieces. Besides, how many did they actually draft?
            Anyway, my point was that who in the heck is willing to wait another 5 years to see if the farm system can produce a MLB player for every position the Cubs need filled?

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  • texcubnut

    Another ‘buy low and flip’ acquisition. Goodbye Mr. Beeler.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t think they can flip Hammels for anything of value. Unless
      of course one thinks that dumping a DeJesus for $2.5 million is
      a victory.

      He’s a Scott Baker type of signing. How healthy will he be in 2014?

      • texcubnut

        Agree, Rip. I don’t see much at all coming back unless Hammel starts off all gangbusters then some team in the race at the deadline will give up a prospect. Not likely though.

        • 07GreyDigger

          None of us thought anybody would give anything up for Scott Feldman either.

  • Zonk

    Maholm, Feldman, then maybe Hammel……..I feel like he’ll be traded for young pitching at the deadline, just like the other guys. No doubt the clincher for Hammel was the fact that the Cubs could guarantee a rotation slot

    Unexciting, but then again not much risk here

  • redlarczykg

    Another mediocre innings eater. I hope Cub attendance will become more mediocre to express Cub Fans distaste for this losing product. Why can’t we build the farm and still be competitive?
    I know Jed will flip him later if he is decent, but this rebuilding with spare parts is getting old. What I don’t want to see is kids like Kyle Hendricks be denied a chance this season in favor of an older rethread.

    • Rational Logic

      Would you rather have the Cubs spend significant money on short term assets? Do you think paying 15-20M for a 32 year old starter is the right thing to do to improve the club in the meanwhile while the farm system improves?

      All-stars don’t sign 1 year deals. And it doesn’t make sense to sign all-star players to expensive long term contracts either -c’mon man.

      The fact that they’re signing flip-able pitchers on short term deals DOES give players like Hendricks a chance………………….

      • Rational Logic

        Also – players have a say in where they’ll sign, too. So no point in making your argument.

        • Rational Logic

          Your argument basically equates to “The Cubs should have done X,Y,and Z” and assumes that those are all possible outcomes, which they’re not. Need to consider the fact that they don’t have control over the actual outcome.

          • GaryLeeT

            Are you having a discussion with yourself? Anyway, we are 100% sure they are not possible outcomes, because they weren’t even be tried.

        • Henry

          You are too rational!!!

        • GaryLeeT

          There is not much mystery surrounding their choice. Players go to the team that’s not a perennial loser, and offers the most money.

      • GaryLeeT

        Do you think a Hammel flip will net a deal like they got for Garza? You have to spend money to make money.

    • Dorasaga

      You might like Hammel. He pitched solid numbers for the Rockies, on the thin air, a.k.a. Coors Field Effect. He pitched great for the O’s their first year, against a very strong division in a hitter’s park–that’s why they traded for him the first place–before battling injuries.

      His ineffective years were compounded by giving up too many groundballs slipping to outfield. Back to NL with Wrigley, with a solid infield defense backing him up, will be a blessing in disguise.

      • mutantbeast

        GB rate in 2012 was 53% . K/9 rate was 8k/9 . Those arent bad numbers. If he turns into 2012 Maholm he will be of value. His GB rate in 2012 was almost exactly what Maholms was. For some reason Hammel didnt throw his 2 seamer as much last year.

        • Dorasaga

          Yea, worth thinking of. There’s a saying that pitchers nowadays all throw a sinker or a cutter, or both. While those fastballs add movement into a pitch and hurt the arm less (compared to regular use of a fast slider or splitter), they are less easy to control. It might be less effective for someone like Hammels whose forearm gave him so much trouble in recent years.

  • daverj

    Ok signing, but may not be any better then than younger guys we have and they won’t cost $6,000,000. I think the James McDonald minor league contract signing is more interesting.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Cubs sign James McDonald, as well.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I don’t get the 1 yr deal. Why not a 2 yr deal, as everyone always raves about the “controllable asset” at the trading deadline as if the player was dipped in gold. The concept is that a team will trade you more valuable pieces if the guy they get back is going to be around more than just 2-3 months.

    I just don’t see the team getting much for this guy. He is essentially worth $3m at the deadline.

    Would you like it if the Cubs traded a decent prospect for $3m? How far down the Cubs prospect list would you have to go before you would trade a Cubs prospect for 2-3 months of Hammel?

    • Ripsnorter1

      If we sign him for two years, he’ll spend the entire two years on the DL.
      That’s what Team Theo means by “controllable asset.”

  • CubbyDenCritic

    hopefully, we can get more out of Hammel then from Baker in 2013……
    unfortunately, with this signing, the Cubs are still at the bottom of their division.

  • Eugene Debs

    I like this signing.

  • cubtex

    Option 1. Shark Wood EJax Arrieta Hammel
    Option 2 Shark Wood EJax Arrieta Grimm/Rusin/McDonlad
    Option 3 Wood EJax Arrieta Hammel McDonald/Grimm/Rusin

    Personally…I hope this move is in anticipation of a Shark trade. Does Option 1 really look that much better than Option 2? Do either of those rotations thrill you? Doesn’t every option smell like a last place team?
    Go all in and tank the season. Trade Shark and get back some prospects and get the #1 pick.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Shark is gone. Will the Cubs be better off with him gone?

      No. He’s a decent pitcher, and we don’t have decent pitchers coming
      up, unless of course, you count Vizcaino. He’s really, really good.
      But you have to keep his pitch count low, to a nice, round number.

      • cubtex

        I like Samardzija. He wants to be paid. He wants to win and He wants a No Trade Contract. If he won’t sign an extension you need to deal him. Hopefully Toronto loses out on Jiminez and Santana. They could get desperate if that happens and give up 2 pitching prospects and more for him.

        • GaryLeeT

          Not a huge fan of his. A true professional should be able to perform under any circumstance, not just when the stars are aligned.

          • Brp921

            The proof is in the pudding as they say. I think this is the make or break year for Jeff Samardziga. I hope he proves himself to be an ace, whether it’s with the Cubs or someone else. I say this only because I believe this front office will not trade him unless they get the value they are looking for. I hope I’m right which ever way it goes.

        • mutantbeast

          Tex, Spellchecks problem is he overthrows early in games , and starts wearing out after about 75 pitches. He needs to pitch to contact more early in games.

    • daverj

      Without question, they all sound like a last place rotation. I think they will deal Shark if the right offer presents itself. I don’t think Shark should be dealt unless the Cubs get at last 1 high end prospect and 1 very good prospect. If that offer isn’t there, I would wait.

      • cubtex


  • Ripsnorter1



    NOW I TELL YA!!!

    Randy Wells is making a comeback!

  • Ripsnorter1


    Daniel Bard got picked up by the Rangers!

    And although the Cubs’ paid him, he never pitched an inning for us.

    • Neil

      Bard had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Surgery in Jan. The Rangers signed him to a minor league contract.

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  • mutantbeast

    If Hammel turns into another Feldman or Maholm, hes likley exceeding expectations. OTOH, Bosio has done well with sinker/slider pitrchers who throw down hill, so maybe he can do for Hammel what he did with Maholm and Fedlman.