The list of teams interested in Rich Hill of the Oakland Athletics continues to grow longer. The Boston Red Sox, his former team, remains in the picture, as do the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers have also been mentioned in connection to Hill.
The first four teams listed on top were in attendance to give Hill another scouting look, as the 36-year old pitched 6 innings against the Houston Astros in a 3-1 win for the A’s. Hill allowed three hits, one run, two walks while striking out 10, in what probably ranks inside his top 3 performances this season. In his two starts in July, he has a 2.25 ERA, allowing a .167 batting average, with a 4.00 strikeout-per-walk ratio. Overall this season he has a 1.092 WHIP and 2.25 ERA, striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings with a 3.21 strikeouts-to-walk ratio.
Hill has been rumored to prefer going back to the Red Sox, where he revived his career in last season, and he also played there from 2010 to 2012. Hill played in 29 innings last season for Boston, posting a 1.55 ERA and an incredible 0.655 WHIP. It helped him land a one-year deal with the Oakland A’s worth $6 million, and he’s been doing great this season in bolstering his value, as the A’s are getting closer and closer to pushing the trigger on trading him.
The Orioles might be leading the AL East, but just like their rivals for the top spot, it’s been a combination of bullpen and hitting. Their best starter, Chris Tillman, has a 3.55 ERA, and only one other player in their top 6 rotation has an ERA better than 5.00. The Blue Jays are doing a bit better, but their option list is shorter, and they don’t really feel confident about anyone besides J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez, both having fantastic seasons.
The Red Sox are happy with Steven Wright and Rick Porcello, but that’s about it. David Price has been disappointing, while Clay Buchholz has been awful (5.91 ERA). The Royals offer an even nastier combination of bad pitching and injuries, and might be the most desperate of the teams to make a move, but at some point could simply be giving up on going somewhere this season, currently 7 games behind the Indians, 4th in the division.