Details Holding up Hammel Trade
While the Rockies work to finalize details to obtain right-handerfrom Tampa Bay they will be afforded one more opportunity to see him pitch Sunday. Hammel will pitch along with Jeff Neiman, his competition for the fifth spot in the Rays rotation in a minor-league session at Port Charlotte, Fla., Sunday afternoon.
Hammel is out of options, which is why Tampa Bay is looking to trade him. The Rays would lose him on a waiver claim if they tried to send him to the minor leagues. Tampa Bay would receive right-handed pitching prospect Aneury Rodriguez from the Rockies if details can be worked out, according to a Tampa Bay source.
Tampa Bay needs to do something with Hammel before it finalizes its Opening Day roster, but the Rockies are looking for a way to avoid having to add a player to their roster until after their Wednesday game in Arizona.
Leftywill start the Wednesday game, and then is expected to be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Morales’ next start would not be until April 21, and the Rockies would like him to stay on a starting schedule in the interim so he would make a start for the SkySox before returning to the Rockies.
In the meantime, the Rockies plan to add an eighth relief pitcher, which could be Hammel, who has started and relieved, and the team would have until Morales’ return to decide how to juggle the staff when they need a fifth starter for a second time.
Hammel, 26, was 4-4 with a 4.60 earned-run average for the AL champion Rays a year ago, making 36 of his 40 appearances out of the bullpen. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander was a 10th round draft choice out of Tresasure Valley Community College in 2002.
Rodriguez, 21, originally was scheduled to be a member of the rotation at Double-A Tulsa this season, but there were recent indications he could wind up the swingman for the Drillers.