MLB Roundup: Why Jason Hammel didn't have a deal until February

Jason Hammel's deal with the Royals includes a mutual option for a third year. Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The market was stacked against Jason Hammel in free agency, writes Jeff Sullivan.

When the Chicago Cubs declined to pick up the right-hander's $12 million option, the explanation was that they didn't want to stand in the way of him pursuing a multiyear deal with another organization. It was said to be a decision of benevolence.

Other teams, however, weren't buying this at all. Rival executives assume that the Cubs cut Hammel because they believe he cannot help them for the salary cost. The Cubs didn't become a great team -- a great organization -- by giving away value.