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Report: Royals sign Jason Hammel to a two-year contract

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have agreed to a two-year contract with pitcher Jason Hammel. The deal includes a mutual option for a third year. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Hammel will be guaranteed $16 million.

Hammel, 34, had another solid season with the Cubs, finishing 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA and a 144/53 K/BB ratio over 166 2/3 innings. The Cubs, though, surprisingly declined a $12 million club option for the 2017 season, instead paying him $2 million to buy out the remainder of the contract to allow him to become a free agent.

With Hammel now in the fold, Chris Young is likely the odd man out of the Royals’ starting rotation.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.