The Orioles, Red Sox, and Dodgers have all been linked to A’s starter Rich Hill, the 36-year-old pitcher who, before making four starts in 2015, hadn’t made a start since 2009. His 2.25 ERA through 76 IP this season, along with 10.7 SO/9 and 0.2 HR/9, have made him a commodity in this pitcher-hungry trade market.
Oakland was happy for the attention with the deadline approaching, but as is usually the case, a wrinkle appeared in the form of a blister on Hill’s finger. He has now not pitched since July 7, but according to reports from SFGate, this has not put too much of a dent in his value.
Trade interest in Hill remains high, however, given his 9-3 record, his 2.25 ERA and the great need among contenders for starting pitching. Most scouts believe Hill will be traded before Monday’s deadline, even with the blister issue.
Hill threw 20 pitches with his blister uncovered, as well as a scheduled bullpen session, claiming on Wednesday that things felt “better.”
Having acquired Hill to be a veteran presence on a young rotation, the A’s find themselves in a similar position as the Phillies, who did the same thing by signing Jeremy Hellickson. Now, both teams have an experienced hurler on staff who has proven they could be helpful to a contender, of which there are many in search of pitching.
The Orioles don’t have much depth beyond Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman, and consistency among the arms that are working can be tough to find. The Red Sox want someone for the back of their rotation, and feature a regularly desirable farm system from which to pluck a prize, but they tend to lustily horde their prospects in cases like this. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are probably still reeling from whatever is happening to Clayton Kershaw, having turned to Bud Norris for help. They could use a healthy, effective starter somewhere in the rotation.