Jason Hammel

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 13: Starter Jason Hammel #39 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on September 13, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Mariners offered Jason Hammel a one-year deal

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Jason Hammel #39 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Wrigley Field on September 24, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Mariners reportedly proposed a one-year deal to free agent right-hander Jason Hammel, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo adds that the contract offer came with a $10 million option for the 2018 season and was suggested “very early in free agency.” It now appears to have been withdrawn since the Mariners signed right-hander Yovani Gallardo and southpaw Drew Smyly last month.

The 34-year-old went 15-10 with the Cubs in 2016, earning a 3.83 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 7.8 SO/9 over 30 starts. He’s looking for a three-year deal, Cafardo writes, though the chances of netting a contract of that length seem like a long shot for the veteran right-hander.

While Seattle no longer looks like a fit for Hammel, Cafardo speculates that he could still draw some interest from the Royals. The club is also eyeing fellow veteran righty Doug Fister, who will likely come with a much cheaper price tag for the 2017 season.

Report: Orioles could prioritize draft pick over Mark Trumbo

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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The Orioles haven’t ruled out Mark Trumbo‘s return to Baltimore in 2017, but a recent interview with ESPN’s Jim Bowden suggests that their interests may lie elsewhere. Per Bowden, Baltimore GM Dan Duquette would rather pass on re-signing the 30-year-old slugger in order to net a first-round draft pick, which would be offered to the club in the event that Trumbo signs elsewhere in the league.

Despite Trumbo’s top-tier numbers in 2016 (.256/.316/.533, 47 homers in 667 PA), the market has been slow to develop for the outfielder/DH, perhaps in part, as Bowden suggests, because of the high-end draft pick attached to any potential contract. The Athletics, Mariners, Rangers, Rockies and Indians have all been linked to him at some point this winter, though the Orioles appeared to be closest to signing him until a potential four-year, $50 million deal was nixed in mid-December.

MLB Network’s Jim Duquette added that the Orioles are also interested in adding some veteran pitching depth (including veteran right-hander Jason Hammel) and outfield defense, which could lead their focus away from Trumbo in the months to come.