9:22pm: Hill will earn $2.5MM on a one-year deal, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
8:32pm: The two sides have a deal, pending a physical, Robert Murray of Fansided tweets.
Hill will turn 41 in March, and though he was hardly outstanding during the first decade of his career, he has only gotten better with age. Dating back to his stunning renaissance in 2015, Hill – despite possessing 90 mph velocity – has logged a 2.93 ERA/3.57 SIERA with a quality strikeout percentage of 28.6 and and a better-than-average walk rate of 7.9 percent in 503 innings as a member of the Red Sox, Athletics, Dodgers and Twins. The only concern has been Hill’s durability, as various injuries have limited him and he hasn’t hit the 136-inning mark in a season since he revived his career. He threw 38 2/3 frames as a Twin during the truncated 2020 campaign, averaging fewer than five innings out of his eight starts.
Of course, if there’s any team unconcerned about a hurler going deep into games, it’s the Rays. They’re known to rely heavily on their bullpen, evidenced in part by their opener strategy, so Hill could be an ideal fit for the club. The Rays lost 2020 starters Blake Snell (trade) and Charlie Morton (free agency) earlier in the offseason after an AL-winning year, but the small-budget team is trying to put together a low-priced rotation with Hill, fellow offseason additions Chris Archer and Michael Wacha (and potentially Collin McHugh), as well as holdovers Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarbrough.