The three could've waited until April 24, when the Royals come to Chicago to play the White Sox, but would not have had a chance to be celebrated on the field.
Hammel went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs, while Wood posted a 2.95 ERA in 77 games. Soler batted .238 with 12 homers and 31 RBIs. Hammel and Wood signed with the Royals as free agents; Soler was traded to Kansas City for closer Wade Davis.
This and that
• Last year, Cubs manager Joe Maddon eased Javier Baez into action with spot starts. Albert Almora Jr. is going through the same adjustment.
"I think you might be better whenever Albert is on the field, just because of what he lends to the defense in the outfield," said Maddon, who is inserting Almora in center when he plays Jason Heyward in right and Ben Zobrist at second.
"Albert's time is coming," Maddon said. "He's a young man; he'll be a really good player for a long time."
Heyward was expected to play more center field last season before Dexter Fowler returned to the Cubs. He won his fourth Gold Glove Award playing right field.
"There's no doubt when [Heyward] is in right and Albert's in center, that's a really nice warm fuzzy [feeling] on the bench," Maddon said.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.