SAN DIEGO -- The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a two-year contract with starter Jason Hammel that includes a club option for 2017, according to major-league sources. As Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com confirms, the deal will guarantee Hammel $20 million, with $18 million in the first two seasons and a $2 million buyout if his 2017 club option is not exercised.
The signing represents a reunion for Hammel and the Cubs, who traded him to the Athletics along with Jeff Samardzija in early July after signing him to a one-year, $6 million contract last offseason. Hammel was excellent with the Cubs last season, posting an 8-5 record and 2.98 ERA in 17 starts before stumbling to a 4.26 ERA in 13 appearances with Oakland.
Hammel will receive $9 million in both 2015 and 2016.
It is unclear how Chicago's pending deal with Hammel affects their pursuit of Jon Lester, who is choosing between the Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox and Cubs and is likely to make a decision in the near future. The Cubs have Jake Arrieta and Travis Wood as locks for their rotation, with Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada, Jacob Turner and Felix Doubront among other names in the mix.
Hammel, 32, is a veteran of nine major league seasons with the Rays (2006-2008), Rockies (2009-2011), Orioles (2012-2013), Cubs (2014) and Athletics (2014). He has a lifetime 59-70 record and 4.60 ERA in 245 appearances (187 starts).