Revisiting The Jason Hammel Trade

The Rays roster is dotted with the spoils of trades involving excess starting pitchers. Matt Joyce arrived in the Edwin Jackson deal; the Rays obtained Sean Rodriguez when they sent Scott Kazmir to Anaheim and Chris Archer and others could soon join Sam Fuld on the roster and make Matt Garza’s departure easier to bear. But no matter how hard you look, you won’t see anyone from the trade that sent Jason Hammel to the Rockies exactly two years ago.

The Rays acquired Aneury Rodriguez for Hammel on this date in 2009 and the right-handed prospect spent two years in the Rays’ system, making it to Triple-A, where he spent most of last season. He pitched well in 2010, posting a 3.71 ERA in 123 2/3 innings with 7.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. The 23-year-old became a reliable starter with four pitches that peak at average and are often fringy, according to Baseball America. 

It wasn’t enough for the Rays to protect him in the Rule 5 draft, but it was enough for the Astros to select him. Now a member of Houston’s bullpen, Rodriguez currently ranks 11th among top Astros prospects, according to Baseball America. Houston will have to offer Rodriguez back to the Rays if they determine that he isn’t worthy of a roster spot all season, so the Rays could still profit from the Hammel deal. As it stands now, however, the return they obtained has had zero impact on their MLB team.

It’s easy to see why the Rays didn’t get much for Hammel. He was out of options at the time and had just lost a springtime battle with Jeff Niemann for a spot in the rotation. Hammel had a career ERA of 5.90 at the time and had started just 28 MLB games,  so he was far from the established starter he has since become. Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman made Hammel available, eventually trading him to obtain something of value instead of exposing him to waivers and losing him for nothing. 

In the two years that have passed since the deal, Hammel has a 4.57 ERA in 354 1/3 innings with 7.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. That was good for 7.5 wins above replacement in 2009-10, more than any starter on the Rays or Rockies other than Ubaldo Jimenez

The deal, which attracted little fanfare at the time, has turned into a steal for the Rockies. It may not be a franchise-altering trade like the one that saw the Rockies acquire Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street, but Colorado obtained an inexpensive and effective starter for an unproven prospect who has yet to materialize at the Major League level – a definite coup for GM Dan O’Dowd.

14 Responses to Revisiting The Jason Hammel Trade Leave a Reply

  1. 5_tool_MiLB_fool 4 years ago

    ok to make the trade fair how about the rockies ship aaron cook to tampa bay for nothing? that would be fine with me.

    • bleedrockiepurple 4 years ago

      Please do and you can take on the rest of his contract this year as well.

  2. DrRickRollins 4 years ago

    I beg to differ, the 50grand that the Rays got from the Astros pays for 1/3rd of the Rays salary

  3. Why do international players always have weird names? Who is the mother that said, “I wish my child to be associated with the word aneurysm”?

    • Lastings 4 years ago

      What about American players with “weird” names?

      • Come on, Lastings! That’s preposterous! Everyone knows that everything American is normal and the best! Why must you hate freedom, liberty and Christmas?

        • jwsox 4 years ago

          yes because american cars are the best, american movies are the best, american news is the best, american writes, poets, scientists, theologists all of these americans are the best….

          If you could not tell I was being sarcastic and i hope you were too. and just so you know you dont have to be american to be free, believe in liberty, or celebrate christmas.

          • Lastings 4 years ago

            But one thing about America, in all honesty, is that they do produce the best baseball players…particularly those from Bradenton, Florida.

          • ellisburks 4 years ago

            What weird American names? I have never heard any. Just ask Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa.

  4. scatterbrian 4 years ago

    7.5 WAR? has Hammel at 3.5 WAR from 2009-2010, which was topped by both David Price and Matt Garza, and matched by Niemann

    • mkorpal 4 years ago


      • scatterbrian 4 years ago

        You’re right, I should be looking at Fangraphs. But since they’re linking to the BR player pages, I figured that’s where the info was coming from….or at least that’s where I looked. Consistency would be nice, but I understand product placement.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      he’s using fangraphs’ WAR, as he should

      garza has 5 fWAR over the past two seasons; price has 5.8

  5. 4theoshow4 4 years ago

    i think hammel made about 900 thou for those two double digit winning seasons combined and they are gonna get two more for about five mill after the extension he signed in the off season. Just the dollars alone make this a steal.

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