ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent right-hander Jason Hammel is looking for a three- or four-year deal in free agency. This is an excellent market for starting pitching, with Phil Hughes and Scott Feldman both recently receiving three-year deals, but it’s not that good.
While Hammel was one of the Orioles’ best starters in 2012, he disappointed to the tune of a 4.97 ERA over 23 starts and three relief appearances this past season. The 31-year-old had a stint on the disabled list due to right forearm tightness and saw his strikeout rate drop from 8.6 K/9 to 6.2 K/9.
Hammel figures to draw interest as a buy-low type, but finding a multi-year deal to his liking figures to prove difficult. Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reported earlier this afternoon that the Orioles have interest in bringing him back on an incentive-laden deal.
UPDATE: Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors hears that 12 teams are interested in Hammel. He hasn’t received any offers, but teams have discussed “one-year concepts.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.