Cubs add pair of pitchers
On the day Cubs pitchers and catchers reported to Mesa, Ariz., for spring training, the team announced the signings of two pitchers.
Right-hander Jason Hammel, 31, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million, and righty James McDonald agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth a non-guaranteed $1 million plus incentives.
Hammel is likely to open the season as the No. 4 starter in the rotation behind Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson. Last year with Baltimore, Hammel went 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA.
"He's a guy who's had some success in some pretty difficult places," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told reporters. "He started in Tampa, went to Colorado and had some success in Coors Field and then obviously had some success in the American League East with Baltimore. We're excited to get him."
The 29-year-old McDonald was limited to six games for the Pirates last season as he encountered shoulder problems. He went 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA. In 2012 he was 12-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 29 starts for Pittsburgh.
"James is a guy who we've really liked the stuff," Hoyer said. "He's dealt with some injuries over the last couple years, but he worked really hard this winter. We've seen him throw a number of times over the course of the winter, and he looks healthy."
McDonald could compete for a rotation spot, or he could end up in the bullpen. The Cubs said that right-hander Jake Arrieta has developed shoulder tightness and will be brought along slowly in spring training.
The Cubs made room for both pitchers on the 40-man roster Wednesday. The Cincinnati Reds claimed right-hander Brett Marshall from the Cubs off waivers, and the Minnesota Twins claimed lefty Brooks Raley off waivers.