There are a lot of starting pitchers moonlighting as trade targets as we enter the hot period in major league baseball. The Oakland Athletics probably won’t hang on to Rich Hill, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers & Kansas City Royals showing interest in the 36-year old.
Hill, in his 12th major league season, recently came back from a groin injury. He didn’t play a single game in June, and looked alright, nothing more and nothing less, as the A’s lost the Pirates 4-2. Turns out it was something of a scouting opportunity for everyone interested in Hill, sending scouts to the game, with the Pirates, another team desperate to add starting pitching before it’s too late, simply being there, luckily for them.
Through 12 starts this season, Hill is 8-3, with a 2.31 ERA, a 1.114 WHIP and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings, while averaging 3.08 strikeouts per walk. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and from his $6 million salary in 2016, only $3 million will have to paid. If teams aren’t concerned about his injury, there shouldn’t be zero problems moving him for talent, as Hill is having what might be his best season as a starting pitcher, with a chance to put himself in position to earn one big contract before his career falls apart.
Hill has played for both the Cubs and the Red Sox in the past, playing as a starter in Chicago during the early days of his career in the mid 00’s, while playing mostly in relief for the Red Sox. Teams are constantly looking at the depth of the Tampa Bay Rays and their rotation, with almost every pitcher-needy team having one or two Rays pitchers on their list. However, there are good targets outside Florida as well, and the A’s might have the answer for the future World Series winner in 2016. It’ll take just a bit of patience (two more starts probably) for those teams scouting him to be convinced he’s the right player to pursue.