2014 Statistics: 30 G, 176 1/3 IP, 3.47 ERA, 3.92 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.1 WAR
2015 Age: 32
Position: Right-handed starting pitcher
Hey, remember Jason Hammel? The guy, who with Jeff Samardzija, made baseball headlines when the Oakland Athletics traded for them, rocking the baseball world? Well, that move, (along with Jon Lester) was supposed to take Oakland to the top, but it didn't exactly work out that way. Hammel's overall numbers with the Cubs and A's were very good as he logged in 176 innings to go along with a 3.47 ERA. And at age 32, he could very well be looking at a three year deal.
Recently, the Yankees have been said to have some interest in Hammel, probably as a fallback option if they don't sign Brandon McCarthy. I see him going to an NL team or perhaps even a team like the Twins. As always, pitching is key and Hammel would be a very solid number three with some of the question marks the Yankees will have in the rotation. Will Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda remain healthy? What will CC Sabathia bring to the table, and will Shane Greene continue to shine? The Yankees would have had to miss out on a lot of valuable arms for them to look into Hammel, although Brian Cashman was said to have been interested in Hammel and Samardzija until the A's came in with a better offer.
Hammel isn't a slouch and would keep this team in every game for the most part. The Yankees would much rather retain Brandon McCarthy and even another year of Hiroki Kuroda, but bringing Hammel on board wouldn't be a move to roll your eyes at. Then again, Hammel's numbers back in the AL with the A's were not quite as strong, as he posted a 4.26 ERA and 5.10 FIP, which will for sure hurt his free agent value a bit moving forward. Additionally, that 3.1 WAR he posted in 2014? All of that came with the Cubs; he was exactly replacement-level in Oakland.
Look for the Yankees to look to retain McCarthy and erase any thoughts of acquiring Hammel's services. While it isn't likely the Yankees would go after Hammel, failing to come to an agreement with McCarthy would definitely increase the chance they become even more serious in Hammel.