Former Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher Jason Hammel signed a two-year deal with Kansas City this week. Before I go on, it’s probably worth mentioning that Kansas City may have had the more pressing need for a starting pitcher given that their best one just died in a car accident. They had an immediate hole in their rotation, and they plugged it.
But Hammel was on the market for quite some time. Were the Orioles foolish to not consider bringing him back? Hammel had a 3.83 ERA last year with the World Champion Chicago Cubs. That’s not stellar per se, but it might play well with an Orioles team looking for good starting pitching.
So it’s not a matter of whether or not the Orioles missed an opportunity now, but this entire time since the culmination of the season. My personal opinion is that it would have behooved the Orioles to sign Hammel, especially since he played here before. He’s familiar with the Showalter system, as well as with many of the current Orioles.
Furthermore, he’s also been to the mountaintop. He’s participated in the post-season (with the Orioles as well), and last year of course he won a World Series with Chicago. That type of experience means something. And in a division that seems to get stronger every year in terms of it’s power hitters, experience in general is a good thing to have.
But if the Orioles ever had any interest in bringing Hammel back, the time has now passed. Kansas City needed him, and they signed him. Hopefully for the Orioles’ sake they don’t find themselves in the dog days with starters struggling to go five innings and Hammel’s plugging away for Kansas City.