Jason Hammel Rumors
The Orioles announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jason Hammel by agreeing to a one-year deal. The Octagon client will receive $6.75MM according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter) while Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that Hammel can earn an additional $300K through performance bonuses.
According to MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter), the right-hander will earn $100K for each of the following benchmarks: starting 25 games, 175 innings pitched, and 190 innings pitched. Hammel will also get $50K for earning an All-Star selection, ALCS MVP, or World Series MVP, Connolly tweets.
Hammel filed for $8.25MM in arbitration while the Orioles countered with $5.7MM. This one-year deal is slightly less than the the $6.975MM midpoint but through incentives he can go over that mark. The 30-year-old is in his third and arbitration year and is eligible to hit the open market after the 2013 season.
Darren O'Day is the Orioles' only remaining arbitration-eligible player that has not yet signed a contract for 2013.
Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.
MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights -- players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details...
- Clayton Richard filed for $5.55MM while the Padres offered $4.905MM, according to CBSSports.com.
- Martin Prado filed for $7.05MM while the Braves countered with $6.65MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Sergio Romo filed for $4.5MM and the Giants countered at $2.675MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Max Scherzer filed at $7.4MM and the Tigers offered $6.05MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Jason Hammel filed at $8.25MM and the Orioles offered $5.7MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). Jim Johnson filed at $7.1MM and the Orioles countered at $5.7MM.
- Homer Bailey filed at $5.8MM and the Reds filed at $4.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jordan Zimmermann filed at $5.8MM and the Nationals offered $4.6MM, Heyman tweets.
- Dexter Fowler filed at $5.15MM with the Rockies offering $4.25MM, Heyman tweets
- Shin-Soo Choo filed at $8MM and the Reds offered $6.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Chase Headley filed for $10.3MM with the Padres countering at $7.075MM, Heyman tweets.
- Mat Latos asked for $4.7MM and the Reds offered $4.15MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jason Motte filed at $5.5MM and the Cardinals offered $4.5MM, Heyman tweets.
- David Murphy filed at $6.5MM and the Rangers offered $5.05MM, Heyman tweets.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that Jason Hammel has outperformed Jeremy Guthrie so far this season. The right-handers were traded for one another this offseason (with Matt Lindstrom also going to the Orioles) and Hammel has pitched well for Baltimore, while Guthrie is on Colorado’s disabled list. Here are more notes from Rosenthal:
- Some considered Hammel a “passive competitor,” but Dan Duquette and the Orioles viewed him as a dependable innings eater. Hammel, 29, has a 1.73 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 through 26 innings for his new team.
- Though Yankees GM Brian Cashman says his team did more background work than ever before acquiring Michael Pineda from Seattle, one rival executive says his club grew concerned. The right-hander showed diminished velocity in his final start of the 2011 season after struggling in the second half. Pineda will miss the 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
- The Pirates aren’t scoring many runs, but rival executives like the trio of Alex Presley, Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen at the top of Pittsburgh's order, Rosenthal writes.
- Tigers starters other than Justin Verlander and Drew Smyly have struggled so far this year, and rival executives expect Detroit to make a strong push for rotation help by the July trade deadline.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Rosenthal that Carlos Gomez would generate approximately as much interest as Yoenis Cespedes if you put him in a tryout camp. Gomez, who is two months younger than Cespedes, could be a late-bloomer, Melvin said.
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Baltimore anymore," tweeted righty Jeremy Guthrie this morning after learning he'd been traded from the Orioles to the Rockies. The clubs reached an agreement that sends Guthrie to Colorado for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported the near-deal, which has now been officially announced.
Guthrie's arbitration hearing against the Orioles was scheduled for this morning with a $7.25MM-$10.25MM spread, but his agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports tweeted today he reached an agreement on a one-year deal that fits "within the Rockies' payroll structure" and is "a showing of good faith." Connolly says Guthrie settled with the Rockies at $8.2MM, which is $550K below the midpoint. With the Orioles, a hearing had "seemed possible and even likely," tweeted Van Wagenen.
Guthrie, 32, had been a regular in Baltimore's rotation since being claimed off waivers from the Indians five years ago. Last year he posted a 4.33 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and 39.6% groundball rate in 208 innings for the Orioles. His skills suggest a 200-inning, 4.50 ERA guy in the AL East. Guthrie (pictured) will be a useful addition for a Rockies rotation long on options but short on stability, assuming his proclivity to surrender home runs doesn't worsen in Coors Field. Guthrie will be eligible for free agency after the season, and I would not expect draft pick compensation.
Hammel, 29, posted a 4.76 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 1.11 HR/9, and 43.9% groundball rate in 170 1/3 innings last year. Acquired from the Rays three years ago, Hammel has given the Rockies 170+ innings in each season since the trade. Prior to 2011, Hammel's skills suggested a pitcher capable of a sub-4.00 ERA. In 2011, however, he was demoted to the Rockies' bullpen in August. He'll earn $4.75MM in 2012 and will be arbitration eligible for 2013.
Lindstrom, 31, posted a 3.00 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, and 47.3% groundball rate in 54 innings last year for the Rockies. His strikeout rates have always seemed low for someone averaging a 96 mile-per-hour fastball. Lindstrom, who was acquired in December 2010 from the Astros, is owed $3.6MM for 2012 and has a $4MM club option for '13. Interestingly, Guthrie and Lindstrom both put their baseball careers on hold for two-year Mormon missions in their lives.
With the trade, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has subtracted his rotation's one sure thing in favor of Hammel, who was demoted from the Rockies' rotation last summer. He did acquire two pitchers for the price of one, as well as potential 2013 control for each. Noted Duquette on today's conference call, "We didn't have any offers of young prospects for Jeremy." Duquette has hooked up with Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd for trades twice before, when the former was at the helm of the Red Sox.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
The Rockies and Orioles are nearing an agreement that would send starter Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado, most likely for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Connolly believes a third piece for the Orioles was discussed, but the sides settled on Hammel and Lindstrom. Guthrie's arbitration hearing was scheduled for this morning, but is believed to have been postponed. With a $3MM gap, the righty's arbitration case has a sizeable spread.
Guthrie, 32, has been a regular in Baltimore's rotation since being claimed off waivers from the Indians five years ago. Last year he posted a 4.33 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and 39.6% groundball rate in 208 innings for the Orioles. His skills suggest a 200-inning, 4.50 ERA guy in the AL East. Guthrie will be a useful addition for a Rockies rotation long on options but short on stability, assuming his proclivity to surrender home runs doesn't worsen. Guthrie will be eligible for free agency after the season.
Hammel, 29, posted a 4.76 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 1.11 HR/9, and 43.9% groundball rate in 170 1/3 innings last year. Acquired from the Rays three years ago, Hammel has given the Rockies 170+ innings in each of his seasons. Prior to 2011, Hammel's skills suggested a pitcher capable of a sub-4.00 ERA. In 2011, however, he was moved to the Rockies' bullpen in August. He'll earn $4.75MM in 2012 and will be arbitration eligible for 2013.
Lindstrom, 31, posted a 3.00 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, and 47.3% groundball rate in 54 innings last year for the Rockies. His strikeout rates have always seemed low for someone averaging a 96 mile-per-hour fastball. Lindstrom, who was acquired in December 2010 from the Astros, is owed $3.6MM for 2012 and has a $4MM club option for '13.
With the trade, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has subtracted his rotation's one sure thing in favor of Hammel, who was demoted from the Rockies' rotation last summer. He did acquire two pitchers for the price of one, as well as potential 2013 control for each.
This post was first published the morning of February 6th.
The Mets are being aggressive at the Winter Meetings, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, talking about everyone except David Wright. Among young players, the Mets are talking the most about Jonathon Niese rather than Davis, tweets Sherman. Niese, 25, is under team control through 2015 and could be an alternative for teams that find Oakland's asking price too high for Gio Gonzalez. Here are today's rumors on Niese and other Mets trade candidates, with the newest updates on top:
- Teams have been inquiring about Mike Pelfrey as well, but the Mets were underwhelmed by the offers, tweets Martino.
- The Mets would like a placeholder starter for their big league club in addition to a prospect for Niese, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post and Sherman (Twitter links). Sherman points to Jason Hammel as a possible match, though Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) hears the Rockies haven't had discussions with the Mets.
- The Red Sox aren't a match for Niese, says Alex Speier of WEEI.
- The Padres aren't interested in Niese, a source tells Martino (Twitter link).
- Andy Martino hears the Mets would have to get a lot if they were to trade Niese, and aren't close to anything. Two team officials that spoke to Martino don't expect a trade today (Twitter links). Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger adds, via Twitter, that the asking price for Daniel Murphy is also high.
- The Blue Jays are also talking to the Mets about Niese, tweets Sherman. The Yankees have also called, but Sherman isn't sure how serious they are (Twitter link).
- The Mets are hoping to get multiple pieces in return for Niese, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. They're interested in adding a catcher, an infielder, and prospects.
- The Red Sox have talked to the Mets and have interest in Niese, says Sherman.
- The Padres and Rockies are among the teams interested in Niese, tweets Sherman. The Padres could get in on Niese but have not engaged yet, adds Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Congratulations to Tim Wakefield, who won his 200th career game tonight. Here are this evening's links, starting with updates on two players who were traded for one another 13 years ago...
- White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he might retire after 2013, when his current contract expires. The 35-year-old has a terrific .308/.395/.528 line with 29 homers in the first season of the three-year, $37.5MM deal he signed last offseason.
- The Marlins released Mike Cameron because of conduct detrimental to the team, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
- The Braves have increased the responsibilities of three front office members following the departure of director of player personnel Kurt Kemp, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Assistant GM Bruce Manno will oversee player development, Ronnie Richardson was promoted to director of minor league operations and John Coppolella was promoted to director of professional scouting.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post can see the Rockies pursuing Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham this offseason (Twitter links).
- Renck also suggests Jason Hammel is available. Hammel's strikeout rate (5.0 K/9) and ground ball rate (43.5%) dropped this season, while his ERA (4.91) and walk rate (3.7 BB/9) rose, so his trade value is considerably lower than it would have been last winter. The 29-year-old is under contract for $4.75MM in 2012.
- Fernando Rodney told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he would have liked more chances to close with the Angels this year. The right-hander will look to sign with a team that can provide him with more regular work when his two-year contract expires after the season.
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wants to see Davey Johnson return as the Nationals' skipper in 2012. Earlier this week, GM Mike Rizzo raved about Johnson's ability to connect with his players.
- The Mets haven't yet had internal discussions about picking up the 2013 option for manager Terry Collins, but they'll likely discuss the possibility within the next month, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from someone connected to baseball management who wonders why MLB players don't insist on slotting. Capping bonuses does have potential benefits, but as Rosenthal explains, it's far from an ideal system.
- The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz for Wandy Rodriguez, but the Rockies were only offering Jason Hammel, Casey Weathers or Christian Friedrich, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Talks between the two teams reached a standstill yesterday, after the Rockies claimed Rodriguez earlier in the week.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed non-drafted free agent Luke Willson, a left-handed hitter who also plays tight end for the Rice University Owls.
The Rockies were one of the most aggressive teams in baseball in terms of extensions last offseason. They locked six of their players up on multiyear deals, including two contracts worth $80MM or more.
It’s still too early to say with much authority that the deals failed or succeeded, but Troy Tulowitzki’s contract doesn’t expire until 2020 at the earliest and that’s a long wait, so let's check in on the deals now. The early verdict? Nearly five months into the season, the Rockies’ new deals are going well, largely because their biggest investments are looking good. That in itself doesn't justify the moves, but it's certainly better than the alternative.
Tulowitzki (ten years, $157.75MM), Carlos Gonzalez (seven years, $80MM), Matt Lindstrom (two years, $6.6MM), Jason Hammel (two years, $7.75MM), Rafael Betancourt (two years, $8.02MM) and Matt Belisle (two years, $6.125MM) all signed long-term last winter. Conventional wisdom says multiyear deals for relievers and megadeals for players already under long-term control aren’t the most prudent ways of spending money, especially for a mid-market team. Nevertheless, the Rockies went ahead with the moves and they’re going well so far this year.
It would be hard to argue that Tulowitzki isn’t the best shortstop in the game. Gonzalez has boosted his walk rate, lowered his strikeout rate and, thanks to a recent hot streak that has included seven home runs in 12 days, raised his season line to .289/.360/.523. Betancourt, Belisle and Lindstrom (now on the DL) have each pitched at least 43 2/3 innings with at least 6.2 K/9, no more than 2.3 BB/9 and an ERA of 3.41 or below. Even Hammel, who just lost his rotation spot to Alex White, provided Colorado with three months’ worth of solid starts before faltering in July and August.
The extensions look good so far, despite the Rockies’ disappointing 63-68 record. At this point, that’s all Colorado could hope for. But every player they locked up could have been on the team this year even if GM Dan O’Dowd hadn’t inked them to long-term deals, so the final verdict on the 2010-11 offseason deals will have to wait for another decade or so.
Jason Hammel has lost his rotation job to Alex White, and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the right-hander's days in Colorado may be coming to a close. "Hammel’s future with the organization beyond this season is in doubt," Renck writes. "It’s likely the Rockies will attempt to trade him over the winter."
It's quite a drop in stature for Hammel, who signed a two-year, $7.75MM contract with the Rockies in January and looked to be becoming a fixture in Colorado's rotation. He got off to a very solid start this year (a 2.63 ERA after his first six starts) but has struggled since, with his ERA ballooning to 5.24. Hammel has struggled to miss bats, posting a 4.7 K/9 rate that is well below the career 6.6 K/9 he carried into 2011. Hammel's ground ball rate has dropped to 43.7% from the 46.4% rate he posted in 2009-10 and his HR/FB rate is up a full point (to 10.7%) over the previous two seasons as well -- a dangerous bump for a Coors Field pitcher.
Hammel is owed $4.75MM next season and still has a fourth year of arbitration eligibility left as a Super Two before being eligible for free agency after the 2013 season. Given his young age (Hammel turns 29 in September) and his home/road splits (a career 5.17 ERA at Coors), the Rockies would surely find some interested takers for Hammel on the trade market. Still, given the number of question marks in Colorado's 2012 rotation, it's hard to imagine the Rockies wouldn't give Hammel one more try to see if he can stick as a starter.