Cubs’ Jason Hammel sore but confident he’ll make next startContinue reading.
Cubs’ Jason Hammel the next Carlos Beltran? All-Star one day, gone the next?
WASHINGTON – Could the Cubs be the only team without an All-Star in Minnesota on July 15?
If Jason Hammel winds up as the Cubs’ mandatory selection Sunday, it’s not out of the question.
Hammel, who earned his team-leading eighth victory by beating the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Friday, could become the first player since Carlos Beltran in 2004 to win an All-Star spot with one team and get traded to another before the game.
That year, Beltran was traded by the Kansas City Royals out of the American League to the Houston Astros on June 24 while positioned among the top three AL outfielders in fan voting. He was elected to the starting lineup even though he was no longer in the league.
First baseman Ken Harvey wound up representing the Royals in the game; and Beltran was an injury replacement for Cincinnati’s Ken Griffey Jr. on the NL squad.
One of the more consistent pitchers in the National League this year Hammel (8-5, 2.98 ERA) pitched another strong six innings Friday to beat the Nationals for the second time in eight days.
At least one mock All-Star selection by a national publication had Hammel on its NL roster.
Meanwhile, at least a half-dozen teams eyeing starting pitching have Hammel in their sights for a trade this month.
Seattle, which could be a front-runner for the big right-hander, had former big-league pitcher Pete Vuckovich, a special assistant to the Mariners general manager, watching Hammel Friday – along with scouts from the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays.
The New York Yankees, who learned this week that C.C. Sabathia’s knee injury could keep him sidelined all season, are also expected to ramp up efforts to land a starting pitcher this month.
Most of the teams in on Hammel want to strike a deal well before the deadline and get as many starts out of the rent-a-pitcher as possible for the price they’ll pay. It was a year ago this week the Cubs traded 2013 flip guy Scott Feldman (with Steve Clevenger) to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.
Hammel is next scheduled to pitch Wednesday in Cincinnati, which would be his last start before the All-Star Game, if not as a Cub — if he gets that far.
If he makes the All-Star team then gets traded in the final days before July 15, and the Cubs don’t have another selection, it could leave officials scrambling to add a Cub. Then, again …