The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel have agreed to terms on a two-year contract that includes a club option for the 2017 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hammel, 32, joins the Cubs organization for the second time this year, as he signed a one-year deal with the club for the 2014 campaign last February. The righthander went 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA (36 ER/108.2 IP) in 17 starts with the Cubs, striking out 104 and walking only 23 in 108.2 innings pitched, before being traded to Oakland with fellow righthander Jeff Samardzija on July 5 for infielder Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and righthander Dan Straily. With the Cubs, Hammel limited opponents to a .222 batting average and turned in a 1.02 WHIP.
Overall last season, Hammel combined to go 10-11 with a 3.47 ERA (68 ER/176.1 IP) in 30 outings, all but one as a starter, between the Cubs and the A's. After dropping his first four starts with Oakland in July, Hammel rebounded to post a 2.86 ERA (7 ER/22.0 IP) in four August starts and a 2.20 ERA (7 ER/28.2 IP) in five September outings (four starts) to help Oakland to a berth in the postseason. He reunites with manager Joe Maddon, as Hammel pitched for Tampa Bay from 2006-08, culminating with the club's lone World Series appearance in 2008.
Hammel is 59-70 with four saves and a 4.60 ERA (596 ER/1165.2 IP) in 245 major league appearances (187 starts) with Tampa Bay (2006-08), Colorado (2009-11), Baltimore (2012-13), the Cubs (2013) and Oakland (2014). Hammel has three 10-win seasons to his credit (2009, 2010 and 2013) and has made 20 or more starts in each of the last six seasons, including two years with 30 or more starts (also 2009 and 2010).
In his first season with Baltimore in 2012, Hammel went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA (45 ER/118.0 IP) in 20 starts to help the Orioles to their first post-season appearance in 15 years, earning the starts in Game One and Game 5 in the American League Division Series vs. the New York Yankees (0-1, 3.18 ERA). Hammel was also a finalist for the MLB Fan Vote for the last spot on the American League All-Star team. He followed up by going 7-8 with one save and a 4.97 ERA (77 ER/139.1 IP) in 26 appearances, all but three as a starter with Baltimore in 2013.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Hammel was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 10th round of the 2002 Draft and made his big league debut with the club in 2006 at the age of 23. He is a native of Greenville, SC and graduated from South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Wash. He pitched collegiately at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon.