Royals Sign Jason Hammel to Deal

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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25: Jason Hammel of the Chicago Cubs plays football in the outfield before taking on the Cleveland Indians in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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.

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.

Hammel could fit into the rotation as a solid second or third starter behind Danny Duffy and Ian Kennedy, ahead of other possible starters like Jason Vargas, Matt Strahm, Chris Young, and Nate Karns.

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.

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