Last offseason the Chicago Cubs let Jason Hammel go when they didn’t have to. Almost a season and a half later, what does that decision look like?
Remember – Jason Hammel signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent not once, but twice. First he signed a one-year deal with the Cubs prior to the 2014 season. Then, after they traded him away as part of the Addison Russell/Jeff Samardzija deal, the right-hander again signed with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season.
As part of that second contract with the Cubs, Hammel had a $12 million team option after the 2016 season. If the Cubs didn’t pick it up, Hammel’s contract also had a $2 million buyout. So if Hammel signed for anything over $10 million, he would have earned more money in 2017.
Reportedly, the Cubs asked Hammel if he wanted his option to be picked up or if he would prefer to become a free agent. They gave Hammel that choice after they told him that he wasn’t going to be guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation. Hammel chose free agency.
After being available in free agency for a long time that off season, Hammel eventually signed a contract that only paid him $5 million dollars in 2017. So financially, Hammel came out behind.
Upon letting Hammel go the Cubs released a statement explaining the move.
Then Hammel took out a full page ad in Chicago Tribune to thank Cubs fans.