Thank you for your efforts this season. We realize that you were a big part of our success. You helped break the curse of the billy goat and now we have our long sought after World Series ring. You were a reliable starter for us and helped us make history and despite that, we are declining your 2017 option. Oh but what an advantage for you....here is your $2 million buyout and now you can take your pick of any team you want to sign with. Thanks again for the ring. See ya around!
OK, so I am sure that is not how the Cubbies broke up with Jason Hammel but after reading Epstein's comments in an ESPN article found HERE but it sure sounds like the Cubs are just over him. I am a little surprised by it but whatever....he just made the worst free agent pitching market ever a little more interesting.
Look, the Yankees need pitching BADLY and you know what....I'm all in and I hope the Yankees can sign him. Hammel went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA this season with a hot start pitching to a 6-1 record in April with a 0.75 ERA. He had a rocky second half and look deflated by September but I'm still interested. I'm sure his tight elbow issue didn't help things but that is part of the game. He's healthy now.
Hammel was not included on the postseason roster which tells me the Cubs lost faith in him. I don't know how you would lose faith in a starter with a 15 win season or better yet a pitcher with double-digits wins and an ERA under 4.00 in the last three seasons. Hammel has proven to be consistent and now that he is available he is the most exciting starting pitcher out there.
The market is thin and is getting thinner by the day. Jeremy Hellickson accepted a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Phillies so he is off of the table. Rich Hill is out there and he has a lot of suitors including the Yankees so who knows what will happen with him.
Last but not least Ivan Nova is out there looking for a job but I am guessing that the Yankees are not exactly looking to reunite with SuperNova. The competition is fierce, folks!
Maybe the Cubs just realized that they have a lot of big games that will all be free agents around the same time and they won't be able to re-sign all of them. This could be the start of them clearing up some payroll to save up to re-sign some guys later. Maybe they just want to put some more young guys with team controlled contracts in there. Who knows....and quite frankly I don't care.
I think the exit was a little odd, but Epstein is right, at least Hammel's stock is high now and he should be able to cash in with a team. The Yankees need to make a serious offer here. The rotation after Masahiro Tanaka has way too many question marks after it and Hammel only makes the Yankees stronger.
So Hammel, the Cubbies may not want you anymore but you can come over and pitch at Yankee stadium. I promise, you will like it!
BYB Managing Editor
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