The previous week in MLB was about a team in the American League signing a veteran starting pitcher, a club in the National League makes changes to their outfield alignment, and an owner passes away.
Royals Sign Hammel To Two-Year Deal
The Kansas City Royals signed starter Jason Hammel to a two-year deal, and it includes a mutual option for a third season, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Source: #Royals in agreement with free-agent RHP Jason Hammel on two-year contract with mutual option for a third year, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 6, 2017
The contract will pay Hammel a guaranteed $16 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Jason Hammel has a two-year deal with the Royals. Guarantees him $16M. @Ken_Rosenthal had deal first.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 6, 2017
This was a smart move by the Royals to add Hammel to their rotation. The right-hander pitched well for the Chicago Cubs in 2016, by posting a 3.83 ERA in 166.2 innings (30 starts) and striking out 144 batters.
Hammel limited the opposition to a .239 batting average against him. He’s proved over the past two seasons with the Cubs that can be relied upon to take the ball every fifth day and keep his club in games.
Hammel will probably be the No. 2 or 3 starter in the rotation for the Royals.
Pirates Change Outfield Alignment
The Pittsburgh Pirates will have a different setup in the outfield for the 2017 season. The club will move Andrew McCutchen to right field, per ESPN.com.
Starling Marte will patrol center field, and Gregory Polanco will be in left field. McCutchen has been in center field during his career with the Pirates (1,175 games), and it’s the only position he has played.
He did win a Gold Glove in 2012 but had a disastrous time in the field last year.
He posted a DWAR of minus-2.6, which was the worst rating among all center fielders in MLB last season, per ESPN.com. He also compiled a career-worst .256 average last season.
The Pirates moving him to right field is the logical decision. He won’t be a liability in the field, and there will be less for him to worry about.
McCutchen having fewer responsibilities in the outfield could also help his production in the lineup.
Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch Passes Away
Mike Ilitch, who owned the Detroit Red Wings since 1982 and Detroit Tigers since 1992, died Friday at the age of 87.
Ilitch will be missed as he not only was a terrific owner, but someone who cared about the community. He had great passion and was what people would want in an owner.
Former Tigers pitcher and current broadcaster on Fox Sports C.J. Nitkowski provided some remarks on the passing of Ilitch:
Mr. I was what every sports fan and player wanted in an owner. Loved his city and was driven to win. He left his mark and will be missed.
— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) February 11, 2017
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Ilitch family.
- Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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