What to make of Rich Hill?
He’s a 36 year old pitcher who just missed the month of June to a groin injury. He’s a Starting Pitcher who hasn’t thrown more than 103 IP in a season since the George W. Bush administration and only tallied 241 IP from 2011 through 2015… that’s including everything he did in the minors and Indy League. And after 70 IP in 2016 he might be the best SP available on the Trade Market.
Because baseball, folks.
After 81 games the Oakland A’s have a 35 – 46 record and are 8.5 games behind KC for the second Wild Card spot. They’re 16 games behind the division leading Texas Rangers and I’m not one for prolonging the agony… this year is done and it’s time to start making deals for the future. And one of the more awkward trade chips I’ve ever tried to value is Rich Hill. In terms of performance, the guy can slot into the #2 role on just about any contending rotation (Tribe and Cubs excepted). He’s owed approximately $3 million for the remainder of the season, making him affordable for even the tightest of budgets. And no one has any idea if they can count on him for another 30 innings, much less the last half of the 2016 season and into the play-offs! But he came back on Saturday and threw 6 innings of 2 run ball against the Pirates, with 2 walks and 4 hits to go against 6 strike outs.
I’m an Oakland fan and I make no bones about my bias but I like to visit the SB Nation sites of other teams to get their takes and perspective on potential trade scenarios. I’m looking to start a conversation with two opposing and well-informed viewpoints to find out if there is a fair deal to be made. I think Oakland will try to improve upon the trade they made last year when they dealt SP Scott Kazmir to Houston for Jacob Nottingham and Daniel Mengden; two young, A-ball prospects who were enjoying breakout seasons in 2015. During the 2015 – 2016 offseason these two earned 50 and 45 grades (respectively) from BA and B+/C+ grades (again, respectively) from Sickels. I believe that by shopping Hill before the All-Star break Oakland can hope to gain a slight upgrade from the previous year’s trade… perhaps two A-ball prospects with a good chance of both earning 50 grades next offseason? Or maybe a Top 10 guy and a high ceiling lottery ticket?
I’m not sure and that’s what I’d like to find out.
I look forward to the discussion.