Royals, Hammel to part ways after 4-14 season

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and relief pitcher Jason Hammel celebrate after the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals won 7-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jason Hammel's $12 million mutual option has been declined by the Kansas City Royals, who will pay the 36-year-old right-hander a $2 million buyout.

Hammel set a career-high for losses, going 4-14 with a 6.02 ERA in 18 starts and 21 relief appearances. He was dropped from the rotation in early July after losing six straight starts.

He agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract before the 2017 season and went 12-27.

In other free agency news, former Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas will become a free agent after declining a $15 million mutual option on Tuesday from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Moustakas rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer and left Kansas City after the 2017 season but was unable to find a long-term deal he liked. He returned to the Royals in mid-March for a one-year contract that included a guaranteed $6.5 million: a $5.5 million salary and $1 million option buyout.

A 30-year-old left-handed hitter, Moustakas had a .251 average with 28 homers and 95 RBIs. He hit .256 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games for Milwaukee, which acquired him from the last-place Royals on July 27.

Another former Royal in reliever Joakim Soria will also be hitting free agency.

Soria declined a $10 million mutual option and gets a $1 million buyout, completing a $25 million, three-year contract he agreed to with the Royals in December 2016. The right-hander was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 26 and was 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 games with the Brewers.