Seattle Mariners rumors indicate that the team offered a free agent contract to starting pitcher Jason Hammel this off-season. While it had been clear that negotiations were taking place between the front office in Seattle and the former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, no confirmation of an offer had come out. Now it appears that there was officially a deal on the table.
A report by baseball analyst Mark Polishuk reveals some interesting details on the negotiations. It seems that Hammel was offered $10 million a year for one season, with an additional option year tacked on at the same amount. It wasn’t clarified as to whether this was a player or team option, but it likely would have been a player option for Hammel. He turned down the two-year contract offer.
Any Seattle Mariners rumors about signing Jason Hammel quieted down when the team began making off-season trades. The first deal involved sending outfielder Seth Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto then traded two minor league players to the Atlanta Braves for young outfielder Mallex Smith. Smith was sent on to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for starting pitcher Drew Smyly.
Last season, Jason Hammel pitched for the Chicago Cubs, helping the team get all the way to the World Series. Hammel made 30 starts during the regular season, posting a 15-10 record, a 3.83 ERA, and a 1.206 WHIP. In parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Hammel started 78 games, posting a 3.59 ERA and 1.143 WHIP during that time. The former Washington state native could have been a good addition to the starting rotation in Seattle, but when he turned down the contract offer, the front office went in a different direction.
Yovani Gallardo and Drew Smyly will be competing for two of the spots in the 2017 starting rotation for the Seattle Mariners. It is assumed that Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, and Hisashi Iwakuma will take the first three slots. Other pitchers competing for a spot in the rotation during spring training include Ariel Miranda, Chris Heston, and Rob Whalen. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Whalen was acquired in a huge trade with the Atlanta Braves for top prospect Alex Jackson. Heston came over from the San Francisco Giants in another deal.
During the 2016 MLB season, Yovani Gallardo made 23 starts for the Baltimore Orioles, going 6-8 with a 5.42 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. He struggled to find consistency pitching at Camden Yards and didn’t find the prior success he had with the Milwaukee Brewers. Gallardo will make $11 million in the 2017 MLB season and has a team option worth $13 million for the following year. Additionally, $2 million of Gallardo’s salary will be paid by the Orioles next season and the Mariners have a $2 million buyout option on the contract the following year.
Drew Smyly split time over the last five seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays. He has pitched in 156 career games (85 starts), posting a 31-27 record, a 3.74 ERA, and a 1.199 WHIP. Smyly also had a rough 2016 season, getting knocked around a bit during his 30 starts for the Rays. He averages 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, which is something that should continue in Seattle. Smyly was an expensive acquisition for Dipoto, who had reportedly been trying to acquire him since taking over in Seattle.
For Jason Hammel, there is still time to sign with another club before spring training finally rolls around. He is now getting linked to the Kansas City Royals, as the team will need to replace Yordano Ventura in the starting rotation. It had been reported that Hammel and his agent are looking for a three-year deal, which may have been the main reason he turned down the Mariners. He may have to alter that asking price in order to get another team interested. For now, though, any Seattle Mariners rumors linking the team to Hammel have gone silent.
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