Rich Hill Rumors

Odds & Ends: Listach, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Hill

Saturday evening linkage as the Phillies and Giants kick off the NLCS...

Odds & Ends: Blake, Kemp, Hendrickson, Matias, Hill

If there were any doubts about how much trade deadline acquisitions can affect the postseason, last night's Giants/Braves contest silenced them. A pair of former Royals, Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, helped lead Atlanta to victory, while ex-Red Sox Ramon Ramirez gave up Ankiel's game-winning blast. As we prepare for another round of playoff baseball tonight, let's check out a few links....

Red Sox Sign Rich Hill

The Red Sox signed Boston native Rich Hill to a minor league deal and assigned the lefty to Triple A, according to Pawtucket Red Sox radio broadcaster Dan Hoard (via Twitter). Hill, who had been pitching at Triple A Memphis for the Cardinals, could have opted out of his deal with the Cards at the end of May, but agreed to push the opt-out date back a month.

Hill has only made eight relief appearances in his five-year MLB career, but he has been coming out of the 'pen for the Memphis Redbirds this year. He has allowed just 35 hits in 46 innings and has recorded more than one strikeout per frame. As usual, Hill is walking too many hitters (5.9 BB/9). If he lowers his walk rate or the Red Sox need a lefty out of the 'pen, Hill could find himself in a major league uniform again this season.

Rich Hill Agrees To Push Back Opt Out Date

Rich Hill has agreed to push back the opt out date in his minor league contract with the Cardinals by 30 days, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hill would have been able to elect free agency if he was not added to the big league roster by Tuesday.

Goold mentions that Hill's willingness to stay could stem from his new role as a reliever. The 30-year-old lefty has spent most of his career as a starter, though his last ten outings with Triple-A Memphis have come out of the bullpen. As a reliever, Hill has posted a 3.21 ERA with a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, and lefties are hitting just .171 off him. 

Since his breakout 2007 season with the Cubs, Hill has struggled mightily with his control, walking 136 batters in 178 total innings, majors and minors.

Odds & Ends: Loe, Baldelli, Vizquel, Hill

Links for Tuesday, as catcher Chris Iannetta rejoins the Rockies after a torrid Triple A stint...

Odds & Ends: Padron, Washburn, Moeller, Chapman

Links for Tuesday...

Cardinals Open To Another Spring Signing's Matthew Leach reports that St. Louis has between $6MM and $7MM worth of "wiggle room" in their payroll that may have to last the club through the rest of the season.  But, as Leach notes, "the Cardinals aren't holding onto money for a midseason trade as much as they are for an acquisition during camp." 

St. Louis GM John Mozeliak hinted that he may make another move during Spring Training if none of the team's young players step up to adequately fill the Cards' problem areas: "As we move forward and get into spring, we should have a better idea of what that [greatest need] might be. It may be nothing. But it usually is always something and more than something."

Matt Holliday dominated the headlines in St. Louis over the winter, but aside from that major re-signing, the Cardinals were fairly quiet in the offseason; only Brad Penny and possibly Rich Hill could be considered major additions to the club.  As Leach pointed out, however, the Cards have signed two free agents over the last two springs (Kyle Lohse and Dennys Reyes) and are still looking for backup outfielders, a left-handed pinch-hitting option and possibly another reliever or two.

Cardinals Sign Rich Hill

The Cardinals have signed free agent lefty Rich Hill, and invited him to Spring Training according to the team's official Twitter feed. The Orioles non-tendered Hill after he posted a 7.80 ERA in 13 starts (and one relief appearance) last season, and he missed the second half after having surgery on his pitching shoulder. 

The soon to be 30-year-old has been plagued by extreme control issues since the breakout 2007 season that saw him post a 3.92 ERA with a 8.4 K/9 in 32 starts for the Cubs. He's walked 111 batters in 141.1 innings since then, majors and minors.

Rich Hill Ready To Sign?

1:36pm: MASN's Roch Kubatko says Hill expects to sign today or tomorrow, and won't rule out the Orioles.  Hill might have one club (not Baltimore) willing to offer a big league deal.

8:26am: Free agent lefty starter Rich Hill "is poised to accept" an offer with a team other than the Orioles, reports Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.  Hill became a free agent after being outrighted by the O's in November.

Acquired from the Cubs in February for cash considerations, Hill was a worthwhile pickup for Andy MacPhail.  However, Hill fared poorly in 13 starts last year while dealing with elbow and shoulder injuries.  He had labrum surgery in August.  For more background on Hill, check out our November 4th discussion post.

Orioles Notes: Mora, Tejada, Atkins, Hill

A pair of former Oriole bats are still looking for somewhere to sign, and Baltimore has shown no interest in bringing back either Melvin Mora or Aubrey Huff, according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Here are some more Baltimore-centric tidbits from their piece:

  • The O's may not be interested in Mora, but we heard earlier in the week that a few other clubs are. Mora confirms that several teams have been in touch with his agent, including the Rockies, Cardinals, and Angels.
  • The Orioles are still looking to add a corner infielder. Although they've had discussions with Miguel Tejada's representation, "a reunion remains unlikely."
  • The club would prefer to play Garrett Atkins at first base, rather than at third. The greater number of affordable first basemen left on the market, however, may force their hand.
  • A handful of teams, including Baltimore, have extended minor league contract offers to Rich Hill, but the lefty has yet to make a decision.

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