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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  • Would hope so. Don't think the Cards can activate a retired player for the playoffs.

  • I'm curious. In your experience watching prospects at the lowest and more instructional level, what do teams teach their young players regarding takeout slides (for instance, would they teach guys to do the Coghlan/Kang type slide, discourage late slides like Utley's and Holliday's, etc.), and has what they teach changed at all in recent years?

  • Phil, now that instructs are over, did you see any players worthy of the title of breakout?

  • Yeah Schwarber would have still gone out I think. Fowler's was aided but hey if the wind is blowing out nothing wrong with just trying to get the ball in the air.

  • Schwarber's was hit hard, into cross wind

    Fowler's was straight up, heyward followed it until it went out

  • Mama Schwarber wants to have a word with you.

  • Mrs Fowler would like a word with you.

  • It seems to be blowing a bit out to right but far less than yesterday and much cooler so shouldn't be too much of an effect.

    Only one of our hrs last night was out because of the wind though I think.

  • Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.

  • I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.

  • Benji Molina is out of lineup

  • Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.

    Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.

    If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.

  • No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.

    I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.

  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep