Kansas City (AP) – The Royals have announced their $16 million, two-year contract with Jason Hammel, a move designed to shore up the starting rotation after the death of Yordano Ventura in a car accident last month.
Hammel will make $5 million this season and $9 million next season, and the deal announced Wednesday includes a $2 million buyout of a 2019 mutual option. Hammel can make a $250,000 annual performance bonus if he throws 200 innings.
Right-hander Alec Mills, who appeared in three games last season, was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear space for Hammel on the 40-man roster. Mills is now with the Cubs. Hammel had agreed to the contract late Sunday pending a physical.
Hammel was 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs last season and has proven to be a workhorse with at least 30 appearances in each of the past three seasons.
He slots into a starting rotation that includes left-handers Danny Duffy and Jason Vargas and right-hander Ian Kennedy, with the fifth spot up for grabs in spring training.