Jason Hammel wasn’t nearly as good after a mid-season trade to the Athletics, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a popular target in free agency.
Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal reports that Hammel has drawn interest from 12 teams. However, he’s not looking for a quick resolution. The thought is that he’ll likely wait to see how the market shakes out for the big-name pitchers on the market before signing with the team. Barbarisi sees the Yankees as a fit if they are unable to retain Brandon McCarthy.
After signing a one-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs last winter, Hammel began this season with a 2.98 ERA and 104/23 K/BB ratio in 108 2/3 innings across 17 starts prior to being traded to the Athletics along with Jeff Samardizja in July. The 32-year-old faded to the tune of a 4.26 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Oakland, but he finished strong and his peripherals were still better than his career norms.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.