The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms with free agent starter Jason Hammel, as Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. The deal is pending a physical. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that it's a one-year deal for $6 million in base salary, plus another $1 million in incentives.
When healthy, Hammel can be an effective starter. He doesn't put up flashy stats -- career 4.80 ERA -- but his park- and league-adjusted ERA totals from the past suggest he's been a victim of some bad luck. He spent the biggest chunk of his career with the Rockies, and the hitter-friendliness of Coors Field took its toll on his ERA.
Hammel has struggled with injuries consistently over the last few seasons, and has never pitched 200 innings in a single season. His most successful campaign, 2012, was cut short due to knee surgery: He had a 3.43 ERA in 118 innings that year for Baltimore. Last year, he was the Orioles Opening Day starter, but he managed only 139⅓ innings due to an injury to his pitching elbow.
The Cubs' rotation could still undergo major changes this offseason if Jeff Samardzija is dealt, but as it stands now, Chicago will feature him along with Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Hammel, and another former Oriole in Jake Arrieta. Carlos Villanueva could enter into the discussion as well, and would almost certainly be given an opportunity for multiple starts if Samardzija is moved.