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#pounditWednesday, March 29, 2023

Report: Frustration with Joe Maddon played into Jason Hammel’s decision to leave Cubs

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel left the Chicago Cubs to sign with the Kansas City Royals this offseason, and it apparently wasn’t a completely amiable departure.

According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN on Saturday, frustration with Cubs manager Joe Maddon factored into Hammel’s decision to leave Chicago.

From Rogers’ report:

It became obvious — and at times public – that Hammel and his manager didn’t see eye to eye. Maddon pulled the right-hander from several games earlier than the pitcher would have liked. Hammel didn’t make any of the postseason rosters. So after the World Series, the Cubs gave him the choice. He chose to leave, and sources close to the situation say that choice was as much about Maddon as anything else. That can’t come as a big surprise to those who have followed the drama for two seasons. Hammel simply felt his manager lost faith in him, and at that point it was time to go.

The 34-year-old Hammel went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 30 starts for the Cubs last season. But he finished the year with tightness in his pitching elbow, which may have factored into the decision to leave him off the postseason roster.

Hammel did still manage to get a World Series ring for his troubles. But it’s not the first time we’ve heard about this supposed friction between player and manager as pitchers leaving Chicago in part due to concerns over how they were handled has become something of a recurring theme for Maddon.

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