When we came into the season, the talk surrounding Jason Hammel was not if he’d be traded, but when. It seemed like another example of a Theo and Jed low risk, flip for prospects special. Now, after another tremendous outing, I find myself a little frustrated with just how good Hammel has been. I know it sounds silly, but there is a reason behind my statement.
We saw guys like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza shipped out for prospects in seasons past. Garza even went on record this weekend with a message for Jeff Samardzija that he needed to pitch his way out of Chicago. Those players have brought a nice return back, but a guy like Hammel, while dominant so far this season, doesn’t have the track record in his career to fall back on. Couple that with an injury history that would have teams concerned and you’ve got a guy that has value but is simply showing it too early in the season. To put it simply, he’s peaking too early and may end up regressing to the norm as the trade stove just begins to warm up in late May to early June. I hope I’m wrong, but looking at his career numbers, he’s a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 with a sub .500 record and career ERA close to 5.00. You’re not fooling GM’s with a hot April. For this to work, he’s going to have to continue to dominate through May. At that point, GM’s may start to take notice and then we’re looking at a return somewhere in the Scott Feldman range in a perfect world.