Rich Hill was arguably the best pitcher available in this year’s free agent class. The Los Angeles Dodgers felt the same way, and decided to keep him in a Dodger uniform.
Rich Hill gets $48M from Dodgers on 3-year deal. Before signing, he was just known as “Hill”.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 5, 2016
Los Angeles Dodgers Re-Sign Rich Hill
The Dodgers have re-signed Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract. The veteran southpaw made six starts for the Dodgers in 2016, after being traded from the Oakland Athletics in August. He also threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball against the Chicago Cubs in Game Three of the NLCS. He finished the 2016 season at 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings, including a 1.83 ERA in 34.1 innings with Los Angeles.
Hill is going into his age-37 season in 2017, and the Dodgers don’t expect him to pitch over 200 innings. Apart from 2016, Hill hasn’t thrown more than 100 innings in a single season since 2007, when he was 27. However, Hill should slot behind Clayton Kershaw in the Dodger rotation, barring injury.
The Dodgers are trying to cut payroll, so the acquisition of Hill will result in Los Angeles trading off some of their other starters. Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy are already rumored to be out the door, along with former prized pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Hill is a great story for Major League Baseball. He was pitching for the Independent League Long Island Ducks at the beginning of 2015. Since the Boston Red Sox acquired his contract from Long Island, Hill has not only pitched his way back into the majors, but he is pitching the best baseball of his career. Now, he has a contract through his age-39 season. He won’t contend for any season awards while with L.A., but when healthy, he proves to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Dodgers are in win-now mode, and Hill fits into their perception.