Chicago Cubs: Former Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel retires

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

While not a significant factor in the postseason, Jason Hammel will forever be part of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs.

Many people were surprised Saturday morning when pitcher Jason Hammel, who was with the Texas Rangers organization, retired. Hammel (36) had just made the Rangers opening day roster before hanging up the cleats. Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant reported the story.

Arguably his most successful seasons were in a Chicago Cubs uniform, which he wore in 2014, 2015-2016. Easy to forget he was technically a Cub two different times because his first stint ended at the 2014 trade deadline before returning the next season. He was a career 4.62 ERA pitcher with a 4.26 FIP, 1.37 WHIP and fanned 1,428 batters in 13 MLB seasons.

Hammel may not be the biggest name from the championship squad, but he had a nice run overall in Chicago. How could one forget his use of potato chips to keep him from cramping?

Hammel’s legacy in Chicago.

Overall as a Cub, Hammel pitched to a 3.59 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 8.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 446 innings (78 starts). He played with five other MLB teams, and all of those previously listed stats were career bests in Chicago. The only two postseason starts he made included the 2015 NLDS clincher and the final game of the NLCS which the New York Mets swept them.

What sometimes gets forgotten about is how good he was in 2014 before being traded. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs and put up a 2.98 ERA, 3.19 FIP, and 1.02 WHIP in 17 starts before being dealt to Oakland along with Jeff Samardzija. He then returned in the 2015 offseason on a two-year deal with a third-year option. The first half of 2015 was fantastic, 2.86 ERA in 103 2/3 innings before putting up a 5.10 ERA in the second half. He did not make the postseason roster in 2016 as he pitched to a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts, but his FIP was up at 4.48 that year.

Hammel’s Cubs tenure ended after the World Series after his contract was bought out and he signed with the Kansas City Royals. He joined Jorge Soler and Travis Wood who also ended up on the Royals in 2017. The three of them at least were able to come to Wrigley that year and get their rings.

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Sometimes one may have to think and go, “Oh yeah! Jason Hammel was on that championship team.” Fact is he did a lot of good things in Chicago during the regular season in his time here. Sure there were a few rough patches, but he also had stretches where he looked dominant. Happy retirement, Jason.