According to a report Thursday from Jayson Stark, teams that have spoken with the Cubs about Jason Hammel expect the veteran right hander to be traded in the next two weeks. There has been a lot of speculation of late that the front office would like to trade Hammel first and help set the market for a possible Jeff Samardzija trade.
Several teams are thought to be interested in Jason Hammel and many of those same teams are also believed to be interested in Jeff Samardzija.
The Mariners are reportedly at the top of the list of teams interested in acquiring Jason Hammel that includes the Blue Jays, Orioles, Yankees, White Sox, Royals, Angels, Braves and Giants.
As for what the Cubs might be able to acquire in return for Hammel, the general consensus is the front office might be able to land a similar package (Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop) to the one they received for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger last July 2. But Peter Gammons thinks the Cubs could receive more in return for Hammel after the way he’s pitched this season.
The Cubs obviously have not said they plan to trade Jason Hammel or when a possible deal could occur. Jed Hoyer mentioned Friday that conversations start with other teams after the draft and pick up intensity over the course of the next 45 days.
“Obviously the busiest two days of the year are the 30th and 31st of July,” Hoyer told David Kaplan and David Haugh. “But that said, by the time you get to that point there has been a ton of dialogue. Sometimes it takes a deadline to get a deal done. Sometimes it just takes a team that feels like Baltimore last year with [Scott] Feldman, I have a need and I want to get the most starts out of this guy as I possibly can so I am willing to sort of pay the deadline price a little bit early.”
Jim Bowden asked Jed Hoyer during an interview Thursday on Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio/SiriusXM Radio) if Jason Hammel was more likely to get traded than Jeff Samardzija. Hoyer did not specifically say Hammel would be traded, but he alluded to the fact that he will be dealt prior to the deadline.
“We don’t control him beyond this year, so with Jason [Hammel] it is obviously a decision point,” Hoyer said. “As far as whether we talk about an extension or we talk about trading him, we don’t … as with Jeff [Samardzija] we have him next year under arbitration. Obviously with Jason there is not an option on that contract. So I think that does push the decision up, potentially a little faster.”
Jed Hoyer also talked about the Cubs signing starting pitchers on short-term contracts and being able to them into long-term assets. But Hoyer admitted to Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on Thursday that the days of the Cubs signing players for the perceived purpose of trading them have to come to an end.
“I think it has served us well. We’ve bought in guys that we feel really good about for our pitching infrastructure. Our pitching coach Chris Bosio, Mike Borzello does a great job with our game planning,” Hoyer said. “Our infrastructure is really good from a pitching stand point. I think it served Paul [Maholm] really well. Scott Feldman really enjoyed working with Chris Bosio and I think Jason [Hammel] does too. The ability to bring these guys in, in some ways we all benefit. These guys come in and have really good years and it’s helped them in the market. I know it helped Scott [Feldman] get a really good deal with the Astros. The only thing I don’t like about it is that in Spring Training people were asking Jason Hammel about getting traded and that is something that we have to, as an organization and that is really on Theo and me, we have to end that. We have to be a good enough team where people don’t start asking those questions in Spring Training about ‘Are you here to be moved?’ That’s on us to get more competitive to avoid those questions.”