Jason Hammel returns to the Cubs on a two-year, $18 million deal
After being traded to the Oakland Athletics last year along with Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel made it known then he’d have interest in returning to the Chicago Cubs. It appears he meant it as according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, Hammel has signed a two-year, $18 million deal, with a $10 million option on a third year with a $2 million buyout.
Hammel had success under pitching coach Chris Bosio, albeit a small sample. Before being traded to the A’s, he was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA for the Cubs. He started 17 games, striking out 104 in 108 2/3 innings. He had a WHIP of 1.021, the lowest of his career. The deal for the Cubs appears to be a bargain, as it was expected he would pursue a three-year deal worth closer to $33 million. The third-year option with a buyout leaves the club some flexibility, while also allowing them to continue their pursuit of Jon Lester. Coincidentally, it appears the Lester decision may be coming soon, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney:
Lester and Hammel arrived in Oakland around the same time last season. Is it possible that the signing of Hammel may have helped convince Lester swayhiminthe direction of Chicago? The Cubs have been in the running from the start, so it’s not out of the question for Lester to see the signing as a positive and tilt him in that direction. As of now, it appears the Cubs will have a good sense of what their Winter Meetings will be like within the first few days. With Hammel inked to a deal–and Lester coming soon–the direction of the clubs off-season may be more clear in just a few days.