Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs
Skinny on Hammel: It has been a remarkable start of the season for the towering Hammel’s. He is on pace to have a career year, currently boasting a 6-3 record and only needs 4 wins to tie his career high of 10. Hammel’s turnaround can be attributed to a few things; the first would be his walk rate. Hammel has a career walk rate per 9 innings of 3.04, this year he has a 1.89 rate. He has also posted strong metrics in home run per 9 innings rate (0.63), strikeout per 9 innings rate (7.82) and a BABIP of .225.
Now before that turns into a stats page, I will summarize Hammel’s season as a career year – to say the least. But a buyer beware note must be posted on Jason Hammel.
Hammel has never pitched more than 177.2 innings in his 8 year career (currently at 71.1 now), he has traditionally had a problem with keeping the ball in the park and he has never posted this strong of a walk rate. How much regression to the mean could we see with Hammel if he left Chicago? Go a little deeper with evaluating his 11 starts and you notice that 8 of those were against teams ranked in the bottom 10 of runs scored. Yes he has pitched extremely well, but that must be taken into consideration. How would Hammel fit back in the AL East? A place where he was a serviceable option, but not top-of-the-rotation worthy, like he currently is in Chicago.
Chances of the trade?: 20%. I think Hammel would be of interest to the Jays, but I question his fit in the American League.