According to Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal on Sunday, the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with Jason Hammel. The 34-year-old is considered as one of the best free agent starting pitchers left on the market.
Source: #Royals in agreement with free-agent RHP Jason Hammel on two-year contract with mutual option for a third year, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 6, 2017
Royals Sign Jason Hammel to Deal
After the recent passing of Yordano Ventura, the Royals were devoted to landing a reliable starter and Hammel was their guy. He won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs last season. Chicago declined a $12 million option on Hammel, allowing him to hit what turned out to be a rugged market.
Hammel pitched consistently for the Cubs after spending the last two years and parts of the 2014 season with the club, posting a 3.59 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 420 batters in 446 innings across 78 starts. His last full season away from the Cubs came in 2013, when he racked up a 4.97 ERA and 1.46 WHIP with the Baltimore Orioles.
He will be Kansas City’s third important signing of the past three weeks, following Duffy getting a five-year, $65 million extension and Brandon Moss locking in a $12 million deal for two years to be a designated hitter.
The Royals are looking to remain in contention following a 2015 World Series win with a 2016 season riddled with injuries. A core group of players including Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer are set to hit free agency after the 2017 season.