The Kansas City Royals are looking to bolster their already impressive starting rotation during the 2013 Winter Meetings. Obviously, the team would love nothing more than to re-sign Ervin Santana. However, the reality is that might be hard to do. Therefore, the Royals are looking to make a splash in free agency, which means right-hander Jason Hammel could find a home in Kansas City.
There are reportedly as many as 12 teams interested in Hammel. Among those 12 there are four teams that are very serious about signing him to as much as a three-year deal. The Royals just happen to be one of those four, along with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.
It’s doubtful the Cubs will sign Hammel to anything more than a one-year deal, which actually would be fine with him because it would allow him to show what he can do prior to entering free agency next year. With that being said, if Kansas City offers him multiple years there’s no way he will turn it down, especially to pitch for an upcoming team.
Hammel posted a 7-8 record with a 4.97 earned run average, 96 strikeouts, one save and one hold in 26 games (23 starts) in 2013. His ERA jumped to 5.14 when just the starts are counted. Obviously, the Royals would be hoping for something a little better if they did ink a deal with him.
The issue with that is the 31-year-old has never really been a starter who records a decent ERA or eats up a lot of innings. In fact, his 4.80 ERA in 989 1/3 career innings is nothing to be excited about, especially since he has made 158 starts since he joined the big leagues in 2006.
What the Royals are counting on is for him to give a solid performance in 2014 so they can have some success that might eventually attract more talent.