The Chicago Cubs entered the off-season with the idea of improving their starting rotation and with two weeks remaining before the start of Spring Training, the team has finally accomplished their goal.
On Friday, the Cubs signed former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel to a one-year contract worth $6 million.
Hammel was the opening day starting pitcher for the Orioles last season. Hammel started the 2013 season strong as he possessed an ERA of 3.79 during the opening month of the season. Hammel struggled in the following months as between May and September, there was no month in which the veteran had an ERA under 5. During the last month of the season, Hammel had an ERA of 3.90.
Overall, Hammel finished the 2013 season with a record of 7-8 to go along with an ERA of 4.97 and a xFIP of 4.56. Beyond that, Hammel had an ERA- of 121 last season.
The signing of Hammel for the Cubs mirrors the signing of Scott Feldman that the team made last season. The Cubs signed Feldman last season to a low-risk deal and was able to flip him during the season for a package that included pitching prospect Jake Arrieta. The Cubs may be hoping the same scenario plays out with Hammel.