The New York Yankees have reportedly shown interest in 15-game winner Jason Hammel, one who could possibly provide a solid arm in the frail rotation.
The 34-year old right-hander went 15-10 in 2016 and pitched to a tune of a 3.83 ERA in 166.2 innings of work. Hammel also struck out 7.8 batters per nine innings to coincide with a 42.1% ground-ball rate.
Over the last two years, Hammel owns a 3.79 ERA over 61 starts including 8.4 K/9 thanks to the improvement of his sinker — which registered 58.78 ground balls per BIP (according to Brooks Baseball in 2016, a 16.82 improvement from 2015.
One red flag that arises is the elbow tightness the 11-year veteran experienced late in the regular season, which consequently kept him off the playoff roster against the Giants in the NLDS, Dodgers in the NLCS and Indians in the World Series.
So, his numbers and injury don’t encourage him as a promising arm that can improve a staff, yet the Yankees can sure use the improvement he can bring.
It’s been well documented that the rotation that finished the 2016 season 19th in earned run average (4.44) and gave up the third-most home runs (147) needs an impact arm in there for 2017.
As for the price, his team option was declined after a $2 million buyout from the World Champion Cubs. Hammel would have made $12 million of not for the option being declined but will likely see that number go up a few million while on the market.
Sportac lists his market value to be able to earn a three-year, $45 million deal which is $15 million a year. Would Cashman go in on a starter with the injury plagued year Hammel is coming off?