Pirates and Left Handers rich hill Are in agreement on one-year, $8MM deal, report Jeff Passon of ESPN, The deal is pending materialisation.
Hill, 43 in March, is one of baseball’s most unique stories. He had some success as a starter early in his career with the Cubs. Back in 2007, he made 32 starts for the Cubs, pitching 195 innings with a 3.92 ERA. However, Hill struggled for a long time due to injuries and poor performance. He did not reach 60 MLB innings pitched in any season from 2008 to 2015, often struggling with his health or command or both while bouncing for Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, the Angels and the Yankees.
Hill’s struggles were so apparent that he spent 2015 pitching for the Long Island Ducks for a spell, but he showed enough promise to earn a minor league deal from the Red Sox. He was promoted late in the season and made four starts with an ERA of 1.55. It was enough for the A’s to gamble on him, as they signed him to a $6MM deal for his age-36 season. Hill cemented his improbable late-career comeback by posting a 2.12 ERA over 20 starts in 2016 and has continued to post generally solid results in each year since.
Hill is not a workhorse, as he has not pitched 160 innings in any season outside of the 2007 campaign with the Cubs. What he has been able to provide in recent years is a generally strong innings rate. From 2016 to the present, he has made at least 20 starts and logged at least 110 frames in five of six full seasons, the lone exception being in 2019 when a forearm strain limited him to just 13 starts and 58 2/3 innings. done. In that time, he had a 3.39 ERA, 25.8% strikeout rate, 8% walk rate, and 39.7% ground ball rate, spending time with the A’s, Dodgers, Twins, Rays, Mets, and Red Sox.
The southpaw hasn’t been quite as successful over the past three seasons, especially in the strikeout department. While he struck out 29% of batters he faced from 2016 to 2019, it has been just 21.6% since then. It also pushed his ERA up, as he reached 4.27 with Boston in 2022, with a 20.7% strikeout rate, 7% walk rate, and 40.2% ground ball rate on the year. Nevertheless, he still found ways to be effective, as his hard hit rate was in the 79th percentile this year and his average exit velocity was in the 56th.
Campaigning at the age of 43, Hill still attracted a lot of interest on the open market this offseason. The Orioles, Angels, Rangers and Red Sox have all shown some interest, but it is the Pirates who have secured his services for 2023. Vince Velasquez a few weeks ago. they should be side by side mitch keller, JT Brubaker And ronci contreras circling the club, banging Bryce Wilson to a long-relief role in the bullpen. club will be johan oviedo, luis ortiz And a few other weapons available as depth for inevitable injuries or future trades. For clubs who missed out on Hill, the free agent starting pitching market now tops picks Nathan Eovaldi, corey kluber, Michael Wacha And Johnny Cueto,
The Bucs have been firmly in rebuilding mode for a few years and are coming off a 100-loss season, but they have been very active in adding veterans for 2023. they acquired ji-man choi Also signed in a trade with the Rays carlos santana, Austin Hedges And gerlin garcia, as well as adding Velasquez and Hill to the rotation. All of those players are slated to be short-term additions, as they are each slated for free agency after 2023. Unless half a year from now the Pirates suddenly take a huge leap forward in their rebuilding process. Regardless, they should all be able to impart some wisdom from their years in the game to the younger players, with Hill best qualified to contribute in that capacity. retirement of albert pujols That leaves him as the oldest player in the majors.
Financially, this signing brings the Pittsburgh payroll up to $89MM, according to Roster Resources’ calculations. It actually brings the club within throwing distance of their franchise record, which was just under $100MM in 2016 according to Cott’s Baseball Contracts data. No real long term investment to speak of k’brian hayes Still the only player under contract for 2024, but this winter’s crop of one-year deals represent some of the most aggressive additions to the team in years.
Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.