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.
Royals LHP Tim Hill is drawing plenty of trade interest, with the Yankees chief among the suitors. Hill isn't arbitration-eligible until next year, leaving 4 years of club control. Hill, who turns 30 in February, had a 3.63 ERA/1.109 WHIP and 39 Ks in 39.2 IP (46 G) in 2019.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 27, 2019
The 29-year old Hill had a 3.63 ERA in 39 2⁄3 innings last season for the Royals, and has a 4.11 ERA in 85 1⁄3 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.