Thursday, November 10, 2016

What About Jason Hammel?

The free agent market on paper looks pretty thin this season in Major League Baseball, especially when you consider last year’s class, but recently a couple a veteran arms got added to the fold. The first was Derek Holland who saw his option declined by the Texas Rangers and also saw his name show up here on the blog yesterday and now we have former Chicago Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel joining the fold. Should the Yankees be interested in the man with the first World Series ring since the 1908 season on his finger in the Bronx?

Hammel doesn’t exactly fit what the Yankees are trying to achieve in the youth department but to think the Yankees will have an entire team of 25-year olds is unrealistic. Especially in the Bronx. Hammel is 34-years old, which is still younger than CC Sabathia, and is coming off a strong 15-10 season with a 3.83 ERA in 166.2 innings of work. Hammel isn’t going to strike out a ton of guys but he generates enough fly balls to be successful with the wind blowing out in Wrigley Field leaving me to believe that Yankee Stadium may actually help those numbers improve, not worsen, for once.

Hammel has turned his career around with the Cubs after learning a sinker but you have to think Hammel dealing with elbow tightness late in the season in 2016 may be the reason the Cubs decided to let him go. Hammel missed the entire postseason with the elbow and if I’m being frank, the last thing the Yankees need is another guy with elbow concerns every time he throws a pitch.

So what about Jason Hammel? Obviously that’s nearly impossible to say without knowing the status of his elbow but if you’re putting me on the spot, right here and right now, I think the Yankees have to pass on him. Sure he could be an improvement over what the Yankees currently have but that and $15 bucks can buy you a beer at Yankee Stadium if he’s sitting on the disabled list for a bulk of the season.

If the elbow is bad, or even questionable at this point, I think you have to pass. If his medicals pass with flying colors, and I can’t say that either way right now so I am remaining cautious, then we have another discussion for another day. Stay tuned. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)