After the long wait, RHPs Jason Hammel and Jeff Niemann finally have closure.
Hammel said he has been traded to the Rockies and Niemann was told he'll be the Rays fifth starter.
Hammel, 26, said he received word of the trade from the Rays Sunday afternoon. Though he enjoyed his time with the Rays, Hammel is looking forward to a fresh start in Colorado, where he hopes to be a part of their big-league rotation.
Hammel broke camp last year as the team's fifth starter - while LHP Scott Kazmir was on the disabled list - but moved to the bullpen once Kazmir returned, and was the long reliever. He said he hasn't heard yet from the Rockies what his role will be, whether it's in long relief or in the rotation.
"I'm definitely appreciative of the opportunity they gave me - wish there was more," Hammel said of the Rays, who drafted him in the 10th round in 2002. "It seemed like I never really had a solidified spot, I was bouncing back between starting and bullpen. But it happens. This is part of the game, the business side and a great opportunity to go to the Rockies."
Though there's been no official announcement as of yet, the Times has confirmed the Rays will get 21-year-old RHP prospect Aneury Rodriguez in return. Rodriguez, the Rockies No. 16 prospect by Baseball America, was scheduled to start the season at Double-A Tulsa, having gone 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and 139 strikeouts/40 walks in 156 innings last season at advanced Class A Modesto.
This is a nice pick-up for the Rockies. Hammel's a solid pitcher, and should round out their rotation nicely. He isn't an ace, but that's not really what the Rockies were looking for, anyway.