Did Jason Hammel Just Pitch His Last Game for the Cubs?

Did Jason Hammel Just Pitch His Last Game for the Cubs?

There is a buzz around baseball that Jason Hammel may have pitched his last game for the Cubs.

Stop looking at your calendar, you read that correctly. I strongly believe that signs point towards Hammel being traded from the Cubs to a contender (likely the Blue Jays or Mariners *Or the Athletics!) within the next few days, with several weeks remaining before the trade deadline.

Last year, the Cubs jumped the market and traded Scott Feldman to the Orioles on July 2nd. From what we know so far, the Cubs made out like bandits with that deal. In no way does that indicate that dealing Hammel now might bring the same kind of return on investment; however, there is a belief around baseball that the hammer is going to fall soon.

I asked around to a few people on the inside in Major League Baseball. They all agreed: Hammel should go very soon. One person even told me that a lot hinged on his start in Washington, which is both bold and specific. If true, it's likely he is dealt within the next few days.

If that wasn't enough, more fuel was added to the fire during and after Hammel's start against the Nationals. Hammel was solid, like always. 6 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 7 strikeouts. He gave up a hit to start the 7th inning and was pulled after only 92 pitches. Visibly upset at being taken out, Hammel walked to the dugout shaking his head and looking toward the ground.

The Cubs ended up winning the game 7-2, and Hammel improved to 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA. After the game, he was asked about his exit from the game. Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago had a few tweets of interest:

 

 

Both tweets from Mooney lend to the idea that something is up. It's all speculation on my part, but let's lay down a scenario. Maybe Theo and the gang have gone to the interested parties and said "Hey, we're gonna run Hammel out in D.C. on the 4th. Get your scouts out there and then send us your best and final offer." In this scenario, wouldn't they try to send a clear message to Ricky Renteria about what they want from Hammel during the game?

If this scenario is even close to true, wouldn't they be asking that Ricky get him through 6 and out of the game as soon as he gets into minor trouble? That may or may not be what is happening right now. True or not, Hammel's comments after the game only further the idea that a something is up. It's obvious that he believes trade talks are escalating.

Jason Hammel has pitched extremely well for the Cubs this year, and couldn't have been a more gracious guy about his situation. Did he know that he had a 99% chance of being traded this year? Yeah, of course he did. So this shouldn't come as any surprise to him. He's been open about the idea of returning in free agency and he's made it clear he's enjoyed his time as a Cub.

Hopefully, he soaks it all in the next few days. They may be his last in Chicago.

*Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Hammel has indeed been traded in a massive deal involving Jeff Samardzija to the A's for Addison Russell and others.

@NotTheCubsWay

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  • Rosenthal tweeting that the A's and Cubs are in "serious" discussions on a major trade believed to include Hammel or Samardzija with Addison Russell's name being involved.

  • Wooooooooooo I was right kind of!

  • Great trade for the Cubs.....top notch prospects in all of MLB in return...........and both of our guys together..........could we have waited longer and got more?...........we could have ended up with two pitchers on the DL before trading them.........Cubs now have 5 of top 20 prospects I believe.

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