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Yankees reportedly interested in trading for Tim Hill

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Who wants a LOOGY?

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Royals aren’t expected to be too active this off-season, but they could swing a few trades if it means improving the team long-term. That could include trading left-handed relief specialist Tim Hill, who is drawing interest from the Yankees, according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand.

The 29-year old Hill had a 3.63 ERA in 39 23 innings last season for the Royals, and has a 4.11 ERA in 85 13 career innings over the past two years. He led the team in appearances in 2018 with 70. He has been particularly tough for left-handed hitters, who have batted just .211/.276/.248 against him in his career due to his low, almost submarine-style delivery.

Hill had previously drawn some trade interest back in July, but a deal was not close, according to Feinsand. The Royals already have several left-handed relievers on the roster such as Richard Lovelady, Randy Rosario, and Gabe Speier, they recently added Foster Griffin to the 40-man roster, and prospect Daniel Tillo has impressed scouts with his performance in the Arizona Fall League, so Hill may be expendable.

Hill won’t net a top prospect, but with four club-controlled seasons left, he could have a fair amount of value. But one wrinkle is that baseball will require pitchers to face a minimum of three hitters next year, which could lessen the value of one-batter lefty specialists like Hill. On the flip side, Hill has been decent against righties, allowing them to hit .259/.332/.434.