The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms with right-hander Jason Hammel, according to reports.
Hammel will make $18 million over two years, with an option for a third year, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish first noted. Hammel's total guarantee is essentially $20 million because he has a $2 million buyout on his 2017 option, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports.
This deal already appears to be a fine investment for the Cubs, who Hammel pitched for at the beginning of this season. At $9 million per season, Hammel is a very viable fourth starter option, behind Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood, and Kyle Hendricks. With the Cubs currently involved in the bidding for Jon Lester, their rotation could be one of the best in the National League.
Hammel spent part of this past season with the Cubs, but was traded to the Oakland Athletics, along with Jeff Samardzija, in early July. With Chicago, Hammel was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts, pitching 108.2 innings. This may have been partly because he has a career 2.35 ERA in 46 innings at Wrigley Field.
Hammet spent the rest of the season with the Athletics, finishing with a solid 10-11 record and a 3.47 ERA over 176.1 innings pitched. His ERA was nine percent better than league average (according to ERA+), which was the third-highest mark of his career. Hammel posted a 1.7 fWAR last year.
The 32-year-old was selected in the 10th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and has gone on to pitch a solid MLB career. He is 59-70 with a 4.60 ERA in nine big league seasons, spending time with the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, Cubs, and Athletics.