Details Holding up Hammel Trade

April 4, 2009 | 3:49 pm | 15  

While the Rockies work to finalize details to obtain right-hander Jason Hammel from 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.

Lefty Franklin Morales will 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.


  • ds | April 4, 2009 | 5:45 pm

    why are the rockies sooooooo high on hammel? who would he replace? wouldn’t they have to lose someone off of the 40 man roster?

  • Julian | April 4, 2009 | 6:09 pm

    Do the Rockies prefer

  • Julian | April 4, 2009 | 6:14 pm

    (Sorry, I accidentally hit the wrong key?) Do the Rockies prefer Hammel to Morillo and Belisle? Does Hammel have an option? What will the Rockies do once Buckholtz comes back from his injury? How good is Rodriguez?

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 6:22 pm

    Julian, the Rockies feel Hammel has a power arm, and can start or relieve. They control Belisle. He is signed to a minor-league deal unless someone will put him on a big-league roster. Hammel does not have an option which is why Tampa Bay is looking to make a deal. Neimann also is out of options.

    When Buchholz come backs, who knows what they will do. Most likely you are looking at June 1. So many things can happen in two months. Who knows who might be hurt or who might be struggling. And if everybody is pitching really well then there should be a market because pitching is in demand.

    Rodriguez has a live arm and the Rockies do like him. He, however, is most likely to be the swing man at Tulsa, which says something about what they feel of the quality of arms they have at that level. Hammel gives them someone who they feel could help right now, particularly after the way the candidates for the fifth spot flamed out in the spring. He can work multiple innings out of the bullpen and if needed can start.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 6:26 pm

    They have a 40-man spot because of the loss of Koshansky, although that will go to Glendon Rusch. If another is needed and the Rockies don’t want to tamper with their current 40-man roster they could simply put Jeff Francis on the 60-day disabled list. That is a move teams can make with a player who will be out at least 60 days to open up a 40-man roster spot, but it can only be done if the 40-man roster is full and there is need to add another player to the 40-man roster.
    There’s also the possiblity that they eventually could decide they will give up on Morillo. If that were to happen he would be removed fromt he 40-man roster.

  • ds | April 4, 2009 | 6:35 pm

    so, if they are able to get hammel,someone comes off of the 40 man roster, right? does that player have to go through waivers to keep him?

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 7:13 pm

    No if they get Hammel they could put francis on the 60-day dl

  • Ava | April 4, 2009 | 8:34 pm

    If the trade for Hammel goes through I would think Morillo would be the odd man out. I read the Marlins are showing some interest. I can’t remember if Morillo is out of options. If he is he most likely wouldn’t clear waivers.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 8:45 pm

    Ava, he is out of options. If they can figure out a way to put off the trade until after Wednesday’s game, they would buy some extra days to decide on the Morillo situation because Morales could be sent out until his April 21 start.

  • Z | April 4, 2009 | 9:08 pm

    Tracy – I know Hurdle has stated that Morales is starting the 3rd game – but with the off days he doesn’t really NEED to. They could send him down tomorrow to open up a roster spot, and that gives them until the 21st. I don’t know how likely this scenario is – but it is another option.

  • Ava | April 4, 2009 | 9:33 pm

    Could the Rays designate Hammel for assignment tomarrow and wait to do the trade Thursday? (I got that from a Rangers website because they are interested in Hammel also.)

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 10:03 pm

    Ava, Bingo.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 4, 2009 | 10:06 pm

    Z, you are correct. They, however, want to create a little extra rest for the others and want to make sure they have a lefty for at least one game in the Philadelphia sereis. As a result, Morales starts Wednesday, which will be the 8th and then can be sent down for the mininimum 10 days, get in a start at the Springs and be ready for his April 21 start.

    As Ava pointed out, if Tampa really wants to do the deal it could designated Hammel for assignment and then make the deal on Thursday. When you designate a player for assignment he is immediately removed from the roster and the team has 10 days to deal with the players contract by release, trade, waiver loss or outright assignment to the minors.

  • John Anderson | April 5, 2009 | 6:04 am

    Hi, Mr. Ringolsby.

    Love the way you made lemonade out of lemons after the Rocky handled closure with their usual class. This is the best Rox coverage around, good for you and here’s hoping the profits roll in.

    What do you think of the potential Hammel deal and why? Where do you see the bullpen going?

    How do you assess the Rox as a team, what do you think their playoff chances are this year and why?

  • Tracy Ringolsby | April 5, 2009 | 4:50 pm

    I see the value of the Hammel trade being in the effort to add depth, and protection for the rotation. With a wide open spot in the rotation this spring, Morales pitched decent but none of the five other candidates really asserted themselves. Hammel has shown he can both start and relieve. Rodriguez has a live arm, but it was an interesting statement of where he stands in the pecking order than he was going to be a swingman at Tulsa. That would seem to tell me that the organization likes his abilities but sees himin the middle of the pack.

    I do like the bullpen. I like the flexiblity of Street and Corpas. Embree has been through the wars. Rusch can carry a heavy workload. Grilli and Speier have both shown how competitive they are. I think Morillo eventually will give way to Hammel and then around June 1 a decision will be made about Buchholz. The tougher that decision is the better the bullpen will be.

    I like the Rockies. I like the abilities of De La Rosa and Morales. Now let’s see them turn that into results. If those two can be compeittive, win 12-15 games, which physically is possible, this is a pretty good team. I do think the key to the season is what those two do.