The Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers and Astros are in “full pursuit” of top free-agent left-hander Rich Hill, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. Bowden adds that the Red Sox and Orioles are involved to a lesser degree.
Hill is likely the best free-agent starter available, and could command a 3-year deal on a weak market for starting pitchers. Starters who struggled in 2016 like Edinson Volquez (2 years, $22M from Miami) and Andrew Cashner (1 year, $10M from Texas) have received significant commitments so far this winter, leading many to believe that Hill could cash in.
Hill put up a 12-5 record and 2.12 ERA in 20 starts split between the Athletics and Dodgers last season, though he did miss significant time due to injury. The 36-year old has previously played for three of the six teams pursuing him (Los Angeles, Boston and Baltimore) and appears to be a hot commodity.
Free agency has gotten off to a slow start due to the ongoing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, but may pick up if sides can agree to a deal before Thursday’s deadline. The annual Winter Meetings are scheduled for next week outside of Washington, D.C.