The Royals rumors have started back up, mainly due to the tragic death of Yordano Ventura last weekend. The Kansas City Royals now need to fill his spot in the rotation and they’re interested in Doug Fister and Jason Hammel.
The Royals appeared to mostly have their rotation for 2017 set, but now they’ll have to look to fill at least one more spot after the passing of Yordano Ventura. The Royals have reportedly been interested in signing Doug Fister and Jason Hammel.
The report came from Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, who stated,
"Hammel won 15 games with the Cubs last season and remains a free agent. The Royals have renewed interest after the tragic death of Yordano Ventura. The Royals are also looking at other options, such as Doug Fister, who may come cheaper. Kansas City may also inquire about the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi and Alex Cobb."
I’ve been on the “Sign Jason Hammel” wagon since the beginning of hot stove talk and really think he’d do well for the Kansas City Royals. As Cafardo mentioned, he won 15 games with the World champion Chicago Cubs and had an ERA of 3.83 in 166.2 innings pitched.
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Hammel was terrific for the Cubs in 2016 yet wasn’t even on their postseason roster. That’s how stacked their starting unit was during the playoffs. Sign me up for that.
Fister, on the other hand, didn’t have nearly as good of a season for the Houston Astros. He’d likely fare better than his 4.64 ERA while pitching in the spacious Kauffman Stadium. Fister threw 180.1 innings last season and would be a good number four or five pitcher for the Royals.
Obviously this is a tough time for the Kansas City Royals organization, but the team still has a season to play. In order to compete in 2017, they’ll have to sign another starting pitcher after losing one of their best starters tragically.
Fister and Hammel are nowhere close to what Ventura was going to bring in 2017, but both are seasoned vets and know how to pitch for a Major League team. Hammel would be the one I’d prefer, but Hammel is older than Fister at 34. Fister will turn 33 right before spring training begins.
Depending on how Ventura’s contract situation plays itself out, the KC Royals could end up being able to sign both of these guys to one-year deals. That’d give them great depth for their starting rotation.
Hopefully more will come on these Royals rumors and one of these two guys (or both) will be a member of the Kansas City Royals for the 2017 season.