We’ve already heard that the Orioles won’t be submitting the posting fee for Masahiro Tanaka and are reportedly not looking to spend on Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. They’ve been linked to A.J. Burnett, but his pitching coach in Pittsburgh is now saying that Burnett plans to retire.
Hammel, who was the Orioles’ Opening Day starter last season, remains unsigned. The longer he sits on the market, the more likely a reunion could occur. But if the Orioles are going to pursue a free-agent starting pitcher, there might be better values than Hammel, who battled injuries — his right knee in 2012 and his throwing elbow last year — in his two seasons with the Orioles.
In two years with the Orioles, Hammel pitched to a 4.27 ERA (99 ERA+) over 257.1 innings, with a 1.356 WHIP, 9.3 K/9 and 2.32 K/BB. He had a career year in 2012, his first year with the Orioles, posting a 3.43 ERA over 20 starts with a 3.0 WAR and even flirted with a no-hitter (retiring 17 straight batters) in interleague play against the Braves in Atlanta.
He made 6.75 million in 2013 at age 30 after making $4.75 the previous season. Hammel was acquired from the Rockies as part of the Jeremy Guthrie trade.
The tall righty is coming off back-to-back injury plagued seasons after three consecutive years of over 170 innings pitched.
Image Credit: Keith Allison