Jason Hammel will be a Rockie for at least two more years after agreeing to a contract that locks down two years of arbitration eligibility. Terms are unknown, but Hammel made $1.9 million in 2010 and requested $3.7 million in arbitration. Colorado had countered with $3.1 million, so expect the total value of the deal to fall around 8-9 million.
Jettisoned from Tampa Bay after losing a rotation spot in the spring training crunch of 2009, Hammel has emerged as a steady hand in the rotation. He has made 30 starts each of the last two seasons and has an overall ERA of 4.57. Hammel also ripped off a 28 1/3-inning scoreless streak in June.
"I'm very appreciative of the opportunity that the Rockies gave me," Hammel told MLB.com. "When I came over from Tampa, I didn't know where my career was going because I had been in the bullpen and been a starter. I came here and they immediately threw me into the fire as a starter.
"Knowing I'm going to be here for two years and that they've shown faith in me is big. I feel like the best is yet to come."
Hammel isn't exactly someone you pay attention to as a pitcher, but there's something very valuable in being able to slot someone in the No. 4 spot in the rotation with confidence and know he will keep you in the game. That's not as common as many might expect in the game.
UPDATE: Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the first year salary at $3 million and second year at $4.75 million. He will still have one year of arbitration left after the contract expires due to qualifying as a Super Two player last season.
-- Evan Brunell