While much of the Yankees’ focus this offseason has centered on sluggers like Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran, the team has expressed repeated interest in strengthening their pitching staff as well. They’ve already been linked to left-handed free agent Rich Hill and former Yankee reliever Aroldis Chapman, both of whom are expected to command high salaries in 2017, and now they appear to have added right-handed starter Jason Hammel to the list (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).
Hammel’s option was declined by the Cubs in early November, and the 34-year-old entered the free agent market after posting a 3.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 144 strikeouts for the 2016 champions. Despite being overlooked on the Cubs’ postseason roster, Hammel’s consistency on the mound should help him easily secure another spot in a major league rotation. The New York Post’s George A. King III reports that several other major league teams have inquired about the right-hander, though no names have been released yet.