The Rangers announced Friday that they’ve signed veteran right-hander Jason Hammel to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Hammel is represented by ACES.
Hammel wrapped up an ill-fated two-year, $16MM contract with the Royals this past season and will head to the Rangers in search of a rebound on the heels of two of his worst big league seasons. As a Royal, Hammel struggled to a 5.59 ERA in 307 1/3 innings, averaging 6.9 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 with below-average ground-ball tendencies. Fielding-independent metrics felt he was marginally better (4.44 FIP, 4.95 xFIP), but the overall results were a far cry from the strong work turned in by Hammel from 2014-16 between the Cubs and the Athletics. Over those three years, Hammel logged a 3.68 ERA with 474 strikeouts against 173 alks in 513 2/3 innings.
The addition of Hammel is the latest depth move for a Rangers organization that has prioritized stockpiling inexpensive rotation pieces for much of the offseason. As was the case last winter, Texas made a three-year signing — this year it was Lance Lynn for $30MM; last offseason it was Mike Minor for $28MM — followed by a series of smaller-scale additions. Texas has added Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller to the rotation picture, too, and selected the contract of veteran Edinson Volquez to the Major League roster. (Volquez had previously signed a two-year minor league contract as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.)