Hill, who turns 43 in March, has one of baseball’s most memorable stories. He had some success in his early career, which started with the Cubs. Again in 2007, he made 32 starts for the Cubbies, throwing 195 innings with a 3.92 ERA. However, injuries and poor performance led to a long period of struggle for Hill. He didn’t hit 60 MLB runs in any season from 2008 to 2015, often struggling with his health, his drive, or both while bouncing around for the Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Angels and Yankees.
Hill’s struggles were so evident that he ended up with the Long Island Ducks for a stint in 2015, but showed enough promise there to earn a minor league deal from the Red Sox. He was promoted late in the season and started in four games with a 1.55 ERA. That was enough for the A’s to bet on him, as they signed him to a $6 million deal for the 36-year-old season. Hill solidified his improbable late career comeback by posting a 2.12 ERA in 2016 over 20 starts and overall has continued to post solid results in every year since.
Hill is not a giant, as he has not hit 160 runs in any season outside of the 2007 campaign with the Cubs. What he’s been able to offer in recent years are generally solid roles on an average basis. From 2016-present, he has made at least 20 starts and logged at least 110 frames in five of the six full seasons, with 2019 being the only exception when forearm fatigue limited him to just 13 starts and 58 2/3 innings. In that time, he has a 3.39 ERA, a strike rate of 25.8%, a walk rate of 8%, a ground ball average of 39.7%, and is spending time with the A’s, Dodgers, Twins, Rays, Mets, and Red Sox.
Southpaw hasn’t been entirely successful the past three seasons, especially in the strikeout department. While he hit 29% of the hitters he faced from 2016 to 2019, it’s only been 21.6% since then. That pushed his ERA higher as well, reaching 4.27 with Boston in 2022, with a strike rate of 20.7%, a walk rate of 7% and a ground ball average of 40.2% this year. However, he still finds ways to be effective, with his hit rate at 79th percentile this year and average exit speed at 56th.
Going into his 43-year-old campaign, Hill is still getting a lot of interest in the open market this off-season. The Orioles, Angels, Rangers and Red Sox have all shown some interest, but it’s the Pirates who have secured his services for 2023. Hill is the second rotation addition the club has made in the offseason, and they’ve also added Vince Velazquez a few weeks ago. These two holes must be located next to each other Mitch KeelerAnd the JT Brubaker And the Roancy Contreras In club rotation, shake Bryce Wilson For a long relief role in bulls. club will be Johann OviedoAnd the Luis Ortiz And some other weapons available as depth for inevitable casualties or future deals. For those clubs who missed out on Hill, the starting free agent is now leading the market by the likes Nathan IvaldiAnd the Corey KluberAnd the Michael Washa And the Johnny Cueto.
The Bucs have been in a position to rebuild solidly for a few years and come off a 100-loss season, but they’ve been fairly active in adding veterans for 2023. They’ve got Ji Man Choi in a trade with the Rays and they also signed Carlos SantanaAnd the Austin Hedges And the Garlin Garcia, as well as adding Velazquez and Hill to the rotation. All of these players are lined up to be short-term additions, with each set to receive free agency after 2023. Although these players could make the club more efficient for the upcoming season, they are also lined up to be trade candidates. Half a year from now unless the Pirates suddenly make a huge leap forward in the rebuilding process. Regardless, they should all be able to impart some wisdom to players younger than their years in the game, with Hill most qualified to contribute in this capacity. retirement Albert Pujols It leaves him as the oldest player in the majors.
Financially, this signing brings Pittsburgh’s payroll to $89 million, according to accounts list resource. This actually brings the club within striking distance of its own franchise record, which was just under $100 million in 2016, per figures from Cradle baseball contracts. There is no real long term investment to speak of Cibrian Hayes He remains the only player under contract for 2024, but this winter’s tally of one-year deals marks the team’s most solid additions in a few years.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
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