SAN DIEGO — Pitcher Jason Hammel agreed to a $20 million, two-year contract to return to the Chicago Cubs, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the agreement had not yet been announced. Hammel's deal includes a $12 million club option for 2017 with a $2 million buyout. If the option is exercised, the contract would be worth $30 million for three seasons.
The 32-year-old right-hander was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts for the Cubs before he was traded to Oakland on July 5 with pitcher Jeff Samardzija. He went 2-6 with a 4.26 ERA for the Athletics.
Seeking its first World Series title since 1908, Chicago is trying to end a streak of five losing seasons. Since the end of the season, the Cubs hired Joe Maddon to replaced Rick Renteria as manager and have been trying to sign free agent pitcher Jon Lester. The long-planned renovation of Wrigley Field began.
Hammel rejoins a solid rotation projected to include Jake Arrieta (10-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 25 starts) and Kyle Hendricks (7-2, 2.46 ERA). The Cubs hope Travis Wood (8-13, 5.03 ERA) regains the form that made him an All-Star in 2013.
Chicago has a pair of All-Stars in first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Starlin Castro. Javier Baez and Jorge Soler had some positive moments in their first major league action last season, and prospects include third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell.