The wait is over, and one of baseball’s top contenders can move toward spring training confident that its new addition to the pitching staff will be just the man to put them over the top.
It has been a long offseason of wondering where the former Pac-12 star might wind up, with seemingly every team in play for his services. Now, though, it’s settled.
Ian Hamilton is a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Hamilton, an 11th-round draft pick of the White Sox out of Washington State in 2016, had been claimed on waivers by the Mariners in late September. Two and a half months later, Seattle waived the right-hander, and he was claimed by the Phillies. Then, when Philadelphia re-signed catcher J.T. Realmuto and needed to free up a 40-man roster spot, Hamilton was designated for assignment, and now once again has been claimed, this time by the defending AL Central champions.
Hamilton isn’t just a promising pitcher who dominated hitters with a 1.74 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 51.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018, he’s someone that you can’t help but root for. Having gotten a cup of coffee with the White Sox in 2018, Hamilton was ready to compete for a roster spot the following year, but suffered a shoulder injury in a car accident. He made it back to pitch in 16 struggle-filled games for the Sox’s top affiliate in Charlotte, but was hit in the face by a line drive, suffering multiple fractures that ended his season.
Last year, Hamilton made it back to the majors, and worked 3.2 scoreless innings over his first three appearances, with four strikeouts. His fourth and final outing of the season did sour things, as Hamilton walked the first two Tigers he faced, got one out, then threw a wild pitch and gave up an RBI single to Harold Castro before being pulled — he was charged with two runs in one-third of an inning as Steve Cishek allowed one of the inherited runners to come home.
Now, Hamilton goes to Minnesota to try to help hold off his old Chicago teammates in the Central, which figures to be an intriguing race to see who can beat up the most on rebuilding Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.
Hamilton does not appear to have a Twitter account. Instead, he’s just focused on baseball and doing all he can to improve and help his team win.
In other baseball news, the defending world champion Dodgers agreed to a deal with Trevor Bauer, the human paraquat who has had one season in his career above three wins above replacement, owns a 3.90 lifetime ERA and 3.85 FIP, and had been inaccurately reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale to be on his way to the Mets on Thursday night. The deal is worth $102 million over three years, which is just silly for a guy who’s maybe — maybe — LA’s third-best starter now. Bauer won the 2020 National League Cy Young by posting a 1.73 ERA over 11 starts, but it’s his other kind of posting that’s troublesome, in addition to his career resume suggesting that while he’s capable of flashes of brilliance like his less-than-a-dozen starts in a pandemic year, he’s really quite average.