Cubs Sign Jason Hammel

In the move that anyone could have predicted once the Cubs missed out on Tanaka, they have come to terms on a deal with RHP Jason Hammel.  The 31-year old hasn't had much of a career to-date between Tampa, Colorado and Baltimore (94 ERA+), but his stuff has always been heralded and he did have a very nice 2012 for the Orioles(123 ERA+).  It'll be another hopeful reclamation project for the Cubs and they did quite well with Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman, so here's hoping the streak stays alive.

It appears they'll head into 2014 with a rotation of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Hammel and most likey Jake Arrieta with Carlos Villanueva, Kyle Hendricks, Justin Grimm, Brett Marshall, Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley all in the mix as well, along with I'm sure a few other surprise guests.


Reed Johnson now a Marlin. Manny Corpas once again a Rockie.

40 man roster was full prior to this. Do they wait 2 weeks to make this official and put Fujikawa on the 60 day DL or bump someone now?

Physicals can easily take 2-3 weeks :)

A club has up to 20 days to file a contract with the MLB office once a free-agent player signs, the player does not have to be added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) until the contract is actually filed, and an injured or rehabbing player can be placed on the 60-day DL after the start of Spring Training, so I would think it is a virtual lock that Kyuji Fujikawa (2013 TJS rehab) will be placed on the 60-day DL when Hammel is added to the 40-man roster. 

Also, as a post-2013 Article XX-B FA who signed a major league contract after 11:59 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series, Jason Hammel gets an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. (Same goes for Jose Veras). He can waive this right, but if he does he can be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.

BTW, if an Article XX-B FA signs a minor league contract he does not receive the automatic "no trade" right through June 15th, even if the player is subsequently added to an MLB 40-man roster. This variance would apply to Jonathan Sanchez if he is added to the Cubs 40-man roster, because Sanchez was an Article XX-B FA who signed a minor league contract.

"few other surprise guests"

Buddy Hacket and Lola Falana. for the Buddy Hackett reference alone

"few other surprise guests"

James McDonald, formerly a Bucco starter, gets a Cub minor league deal and a spring training invite (per Bruuce Springsteen Levine)...something of a McDonald upgrade over Darnell.

McDonald will see Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas on Tuesday for confirmation of diagnosis of the source of his shoulder discomfort by team doctors. McDonald declined to disclose that diagnosis, characterizing it as premature.

If Dr. Meister's findings differ, McDonald plans to seek a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews. Otherwise, he will turn his attention to curing the condition that has ailed him all year.

from June 2013. Mystery pitching shoulder tightness...was on the Pirates DL from 4-28-13 until they DFA'd him on 9-7-13, cleared waivers and wasn't picked up until now.

"I'm eager to find out just what's going on," said McDonald, who conceded that he hasn't felt right, even while he was part of the Pirates' regular rotation through April. "At the beginning, there really was no pain, it just felt different. Then when it started to hurt, I thought, 'There's something wrong. We've got to look at this.'"

James McDonald is Darnell McDonald's cousin. 


Daniel Bard nearing deal with Rangers and just underwent Thoracic outlet surgery on 1-2-14.

Same surgery as the non-Cub Chris Carpenter underwent.

older article, but seems to be mixed bag on results, I think Josh Beckett and Shaun Marcum are some more recent ones.

Hope for CJ Edwards?

cool article

on a sidenote, whatever is, please delete it from your computer/bookmarks/existence

I just copied the address from the address bar and turns it into that.

Does that on all of my web address copies.

/computer illiterate cub reporter

didn't mean to come off so harsh, the Maddux article took you to an ad first then the article, but doesn't seem to be doing it now.


looks like some browser extension you installed or installed itself.


no problem


Mark Appel had emergency appendectomy on 1-30, Thursday. 

Probably not much impact but who knows. Look at the season Adam Dunn had after his appy in 2011.

37yo michael young retires and it's all interviews, press conferences, and coverage about the surprise after a weak ending to his career.

36yo will clark retired and not many cared after putting up .418 ob%, 21hr, 30 doubles to end his career (also the guy who destroyed the cubs in the 89 playoffs, btw).

meh. increased media presence era and all that...etc...still it's kinda odd to see how much coverage m.young is getting even for a slow day in the offseason.

Does that mean that there won't be any Michael Young to the Cubs rumors? Or is there still hope?

emilio bonifacio, recently DFA'd, probably gets to take that over...for now.

there's always the hope of a mid-season trade for brian roberts, too.

How dare you beat me to the obligatory B-Rob joke!

How terrible is Bonifacio at 2B?

quite terrible, though teams will probably keep giving him part-time work at 2nd/3rd.

I need silly rumors. I saw Cesar Izturis signed with somebody, so an encore there is out of the question.

looking at the roster...especially if olt breaks with the doesn't seem much is left aside from minor league deals.

they scored a nice coup with j.mcdonald on a minors deal even if it doesn't work out. at the very least he can take over for j.hammels when/if he's traded if grimm doesn't (or if grimm is moved to a pen role, which he excelled in at the end of season last year).

Ya, I know. It was really quite a stirring offseason.

McDonald might be helpful in the bullpen. It's not like we're hoping Shaun Camp has continued success.

The Super Bowl is an important date. The minute that stupid game is brain officially declares: "Baseball Up Next"


Puppy Bowl X!!!

find this man a job...

<lockquote>Former Cubs and Dodgers reliever Carlos Marmol is out of work but says he is not worried about finding a big league job.</lockquote>

The Cuba Shuffle... (revised from 1985 bears)

Jeez, what was the big deal? Did his Dominican lawyer yell out just after he swung the bat, "you're coming to America"?

c.lim re-signs...minor league deal

How about Nelson Cruz on a one year deal? Or would that block Sweeney, Ruggiano, Schierholtz, and Jackson?

seems Mariners and O's will give him a multi-year deal at some point. If he's willing to take a 1-year deal, I imagine Cubs may have take a look although draft pick loss might deter them.

Ah, the draft pick. Never mind.

Was looking at Jason Hammel's page and noticed that last year most of his peripherals are in line with career norms, except HR/9, and I'd guess that if he can get that back down to his career average, he could keep his ERA closer to 4.00 than to 5.00.

So it seems to me the Cubs have 5 players who look for significant rebounds this year and from whom we can expect improvement over their 2013 performances, from most improvement to least: Edwin Jackson, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Hammel, Darwin Barney.

But then I wondered who are the players we should expect to regress. I think that's these guys, again from most to least regression in 2014: Travis Wood, Donnie Murphy, Nate Schierholtz, Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney.

Who did I miss?

beyond the numbers, hammels has excellent stuff and a variety of it...he just hasn't "put it together" even though he's got a little age on him.

as far as gambles of stuff vs upside for a guy with his experience, he's a decent gamble...then again, so is/was edwin jackson.

Samardzija's FIP and xFIP were significantly lower than his ERA last year, which suggests room to improve (well, regress to his mean, in a good way) in 14...

Good point. I think his control could get a bit more consistent. I guess I'd put him ahead of Hammel and Barney on the above list, but behind Jackson, Castro, and Rizzo for amount of improvement I'm expecting over 2013 performance.

does Junior Lake have a big enough sample size to consider it a regression?

breaking balls from RHP's will be his regression...

You could definitely ask the same of Sweeney and Murphy, but I guess what I mean is that you expect their rate stats to be less impressive in 2014, if they get enough PAs.

I don't know if it's just my optimism, but it seems to me there is a lot more room for rebound/progression on this 2014 roster than there is room for regression barring serious injuries of course.

twins 28 seems extremely harsh (especially ranking worse than the cubs)...wsox at 26 seems harsh, too (i have faith in j.abreu).

at worst, i'd put both closer to the middle of the pack.

Kenny? Is that you?

well someone is always going to surprise in either direction, but seems like a very solid methodology in ranking them.

Dead-lastros, again, ouch.

I think we all learned a valuable lesson today, don't let Carrie Muskat fill out the lineup card.

New manager Rick Renteria has yet to write out a lineup card but here's a guess:

SS Starlin Castro

2B Darwin Barney

1B Anthony Rizzo

LF Junior Lake

RF Nate Schierholtz

C Welington Castillo

3B Luis Valbuena

CF Ryan Sweeney /Justin Ruggiano

P Jeff Samardzija

Jose Veras is projected as the closer. In the bullpen, Hector Rondon and James Russell are the primary setup pitchers.

as long as they keep stacking up seasons of talent like this, renteria+cubs might as well put all the kids up top to get them the most ABs so they're useful when actually needed.

not really...but what difference would any lineup make anyway in a year where finishing below .500 is pretty much universally expected before game 1 of the season gets played?

meh. the fact it could be legitimately argued as a strategy going forward rather than a joke is kinda sad.

Even if that were the rationale, you'd be better off batting Sweeney or Lake near the top and keeping Barney at the bottom of the lineup. He's as on his way off the team as just about anyone on the roster, except for the vets on 1-year deals.

I think you're right in that the Cubs lineup is going to be a total bore until Rizzo and Castro rebound and the Cubs find a 3B and a 2B out of Olt, Baez, Alcantara, and Villanueva.

former Cub, Jerome Williams signs a 1yr with Astros.

yikes...the Dr makes a ghost appearance?

And so does the other, less-useful doctor.



Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.