Athletics lefty Rich Hill will not make his scheduled start on Sunday, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). That means he won’t have a chance to prove to potential trade suitors that he’s at full health; to the contrary, it seems, he isn’t quite ready to return to the bump with a blister on his finger still causing problem.
It’s certainly still possible that Hill could be traded on or before Monday’s deadline, but it’ll take some creativity. Teams will surely be willing to roll the dice on his reasonably-priced contract, so an August trade could be tough since he’d likely be claimed off waivers. To get things done before then, Oakland may need to take a reduced return or try to work out some sort of conditional arrangement in which the final price depends upon how many starts Hill is ultimately able to make.
A’s GM David Forst has suggested previously that the club’s improved performance won’t really change its deadline stance, as Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports. He also suggested that Hill’s injury wasn’t of the kind that would make a deal difficult to pull off without a pre-deadline start. In his comments today, Forst said there has been lots of interest and reiterated that a trade is still possible, as Slusser reports (links to Twitter). He declined to guess at the odds, though, and suggested the team could hold onto the surprising 36-year-old. A qualifying offer still seems a possibility; indeed, if Hill is kept and returns to the form he has shown since his re-emergence late last season, it might be an easy offer to make.
Though Hill’s last full appearance came on July 7th, he has been able to keep his arm in shape while protecting the blister — even if he hasn’t been able to utilize all his pitches. And he was able to build up to sixty long-toss throws today before the area in question felt “hot,” Slusser tweets, which is apparently just part of the process of building up a callus. A DL stint seems likely at this point, particularly since it can be backdated. Teams will presumably be able to assess the situation and adjust their offers accordingly, but there’s no question that the lack of immediate availability and increased risk will weigh in the balance — particularly since Hill is such an unusual, late-emerging pitcher to begin with.
Just Another Fan
Or just keep him because the A’s are playing great and they could offer him a QO and get a 1st round pick while making a last-ditch shot at a WC spot.
Oakland has like a .0000001% chance of making the playoffs.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance…. YEAH
Then he’d accept the qo. He’ll be traded.
Just Another Fan
Him accepting the QO is no problem, he’s very good and the A’s have plenty of money to spend. Win-win for both sides.
I would be shocked to see the A’s offer him a QO.
They’re one of the cheapest teams in the MLB and I’m not sure they can reasonably justify $1.6MM+ on a guy who’s basically a flyer. If I’m Hill, at his age, I would accept; odds are he’s not going to get that kind of money anywhere else at his age.
Even if they do offer and he does decline, I’m hard pressed to imagine a team giving up a first round pick for the right to sign a 37 with massive durability issues and about eight months’ worth of track record.
not sure if serious. They are 9 games out of the wild card with about 8 teams in front of them.
Just Another Fan
The 2006 Twins laughed at that deficit and won the division.
This isn’t 2006. When parity virtually didn’t exist. For better or worse, we now have a league full of .500 teams. So even being 2 games out of the WC is kinda like a MT Everest type of hike. You’d think that would make things easier, but it’s much less likely to see magical runs or epic collapses anymore. Some teams are too good to lose too many and others aren’t bad enough to lose a lot. Sorry writing on the move from phone if logic in the point I’m making isn’t totally clear. For example. The Yanks are right there and $1000 says they don’t even make the WC and they have a pretty solid team.
“When parity didn’t exist.” That is not a complete sentence.
And the few hundred other teams in MLB history with a similar uphill battle this late into the season laugh at your decision to cite a clear outlier as something you should count on.
2006 Twins had 59 wins on Jul 29. Try not to needlessly drag the 2006 Twins’ fine name through the muck.
They could try to trade him after the waiver deadline, but they won’t get the same return
They won’t get really any return after the deadline. Pretty much any AL team would happily put in a claim for him and take him off of the A’s hands at his salary, but I don’t know that anyone would comfortably give them a viable prospect with his injury concerns.
Somewhere Billy Beane is taking a Zantac….
I’m an A’s fane but I’m not dillusional. Even if they slid into the wild card, they are not contending for a championship this year. Better to build for a future good team than to lose the wild card game and then lose all the guys they could of traded.
I don’t think issuing him a QO is worth the risk of him accepting it, the A’s can’t afford $16.7 mil for a starter that realistically they can only count on for 20 starts. The only return they have a hope of getting for him is to trade him now. But even if they don’t, as an A’s fan it’s been enjoyable watching him pitch! Was a fan of the signing right from the get go.
They have plenty of money but like Donaldson told A’s management they don’t want to spend it using that new venue lame excuse… BTW They traded Donaldson after those remarks..
I seriously am expecting any day now to see he’s out for the year with a blister. Has any one ever been out this long with a blister?
I have a ton of respect for Rich Hill and the comeback he made. Took an awful lot of persistence. But if anyone in the league were to miss substantial time with a blister, he’s the guy unfortunately
Nolan Ryan had blister problems and apparently pickle brine was the answer….
Voice of Reason
Google the word soft and a picture of rich hill will show up.