Jason Hammel
Getty Images

Jason Hammel to retire

3 Comments

Rangers right-hander Jason Hammel is set to retire from Major League Baseball just one day after making the team’s Opening Day roster, according to multiple reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. While Hammel has informed the team of his decision, a formal announcement has yet to be made.

After finishing out a two-year gig with the Royals in 2018, the 36-year-old righty signed a minor league deal with the Rangers in February, then made it abundantly clear that he wouldn’t settle for anything less than a spot on the 25-man roster.

“I certainly won’t go to Triple-A,” he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News last week. “This is a grind. If it requires me to go home, I know my family is waiting for me and has been for a while. I’m more than willing to go home and spend time with them.”

The Rangers eventually placed Hammel on their Opening Day roster with the intent of using him in long relief and spot starts. That may not have been enough of a guarantee for the veteran starter, however, especially considering his recent streak of bad luck in the majors. And, as he told Texas GM Jon Daniels, his priorities had shifted from baseball to his family, making the decision to step away from his MLB career an easy one.

Hammel hit some career-low numbers last year, pitching to a 3-12 record in 18 starts with a 6.02 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 0.9 fWAR across 127 innings in the rotation and bullpen. It was a disappointing finish to a long career, one in which he racked up a cumulative 298 starts and 20.1 fWAR for the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, Cubs, Athletics, and Royals from 2006 through 2018.

The Rangers have yet to name a replacement.

Gio González is now a free agent

Gio Gonzalez
Getty Images
1 Comment

Everyone suspected this would happen and now it has: Gio González has requested and has been granted his release from his minor league deal with the Yankees. He is a free agent.

González stood to earn a $3 million salary if the Yankees elect to add him to the 25-man roster, with additional bonuses of $300,000 pending each start he makes after that, but nothing he did at Triple-A merited a callup. He issued 10 runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts over his first 15 innings in the minors. He fired his agent, Scott Boras, late last week and hired CAA Baseball instead.

No word on whether CAA will be better at convincing anyone to sign a guy who walked six guys in 15 minor league innings to a big league deal than Boras was, frankly. My guess is that González will be on another minor league deal again soon if he wants to pitch in 2019.