Ian Kennedy

Royals announce their $16M, 2-year deal for Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel knows he wouldn't be in Kansas City if tragedy had not struck the Royals organization.

The 34-year-old right-hander made that clear right from the start.

"I feel like I need to express my condolences to Royals Nation and the Ventura family," he said, referring to the fatal car crash that claimed pitcher Yordano Ventura in his native Dominican Republic last month. "I truly feel if that unfortunate passing doesn't happen, you're not talking to me."

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said that was precisely the case.

"Obviously we weren't in the starting pitcher market," he explained during a news conference to introduce...