The Red Sox announced Wednesday that they’ve signed veteran starter Rich Hill to a one-year contract. It’s reportedly a $5MM guarantee that contains up to $3MM more in incentives based on innings pitched. Hill is a client of ACES.
This is remarkably the seventh different contract Hill has signed with the Red Sox. Between various stints, he’s suited up for the Sox in parts of four seasons. After pitching for Boston from 2010-12, Hill returned for a late-season cameo in 2015. That four-start stretch kicked off the remarkable late-career renaissance he has put together over the past six years.
Hill’s showing with the Red Sox earned him a rotation job in Oakland the following season. After continuing to thrive with the A’s, he landed with the Dodgers at the 2016 trade deadline. Hill re-signed with L.A. that winter, ultimately spending the next three seasons in Dodger blue. He has bounced between the Twins, Rays and Mets over the past two years.
Things will come full circle as Hill returns to Boston for his age-42 campaign. It’ll be his 18th year logging at least some major league action, a testament to his incredible longevity and persistence. Of course, that he keeps landing big league opportunities is just as much a reflection of his continued productivity.
Hill hasn’t posted an ERA above 4.00 since his 2016 breakout. This past season’s 3.86 mark was his highest in that time, but Hill also shouldered his heaviest workload in fourteen years. Between Tampa Bay and New York, the southpaw tallied 158 2/3 frames over 32 appearances (31 starts), a top 50 total league-wide. He did so with roughly average strikeout and walk numbers (22.7% and 8.3%, respectively).
Boston has now added three potential rotation arms on one-year guarantees this winter. The Sox signed Michael Wacha for $7MM and are reportedly in agreement with James Paxton on a $10MM guarantee that contains a 2023-24 club option. They join an incumbent group led by Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta. Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock could be options for either the rotation or the bullpen as well, giving the front office and manager Alex Cora plenty of moving pieces with which to construct a staff.