Red Sox: Starting pitcher trade targets
We all remember this story. Hill hadn’t appeared in a major league game as a starter since 2009, then bounced around to the bullpens of several different teams, including Boston, before returning to the Red Sox late last season after a stint in the independent Atlantic League. All he did when he put on a Red Sox uniform again was go 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA, while striking out 36 batters in 29 innings cover four starts.
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Hill’s shockingly effective return to the big leagues earned him a 1-year, $6 million deal with the Oakland Athletics, which proved to be too rich for a Red Sox team that was lukewarm on the idea of retaining him. They had their eyes on a bigger prize, luring in Price to be their new ace. With the rotation already crowded, the Red Sox didn’t see taking a gamble on Hill based on a minuscule sample size as necessary risk.
Less than two months into the season, the Red Sox find themselves seeking another starter and Hill is proving last year was no fluke. He leads the AL with a 2.18 ERA and his 10.14 K/9 rates fourth. He walks more batters than you’d like to see (3.3 BB/9 this season, 4.1 BB/9 for his career), but allowing base runners doesn’t hurt as much when you have a 48.5 percent ground ball rate that ranks fourth in the majors among pitchers with at least a 10.0 K/9.
Would the Red Sox be up for another go-around with Hill? With Oakland going nowhere this year and Hill hitting the free agent market after this season, there’s little reason for them to hang on to him.
Next: Steven Matz