The Chicago Cubs have been on the market throughout this offseason to add another starter, and after being outbid in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes the team finally landed the impact arm they were looking for.
According to reports from FOX Sports’ Kevin Rosenthal, the Cubs have agreed to sign former Baltimore Orioles starter Jason Hammel. While the deal is still pending a physical to be officially signed, it’s safe to say that the Cubs organization made another smart signing during the free agency period.
Hammel was the Orioles’ starter on Opening Day last season after a career year in 2012, but things didn’t fare well for the right-hander in 2013 as he finished the season with a 4.97 ERA and only 96 Ks in 139 innings while also experiencing several injuries and problems with his velocity. He appears to be a back-of-the-rotation starter, but he clearly fits the mold of what the Cubs have been looking for.
The 31-year-old will be likely penciled into one of the two final spots in the rotation with his former teammate Jake Arrieta, another pitcher who struggled with the Orioles but could revive his career in Chicago. Pitching coach Chris Bosio has been very successful in recent years working with the guys the Cubs have signed, and the turnarounds experienced by Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman bode well for what this duo can do in the near future for the Cubs.
Hammel has obvious talent, and he can still be a productive player while also adding leadership and experience to the clubhouse. He was an obvious fit for the team from the beginning, and his arrival is more proof that the Cubs are doing things the right way this time.