After the news dropped that Dodgers free agent Rich Hill had undergone a fairly invasive elbow operation after the season ended, reactions poured in all over social media. Moreover, experts began to weigh in on what effect Hill’s “primary revision surgery” would have on his free agency.
After all, Hill would be 40 during the 2020 season, and now wouldn’t be expected to be ready until some time around the All-Star break.
Sunday notes: What agents say — and what they really mean. https://t.co/qRuijqbBWD Plus, the Orioles make a tone-deaf decision; Rich Hill's future.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 1, 2019
Recently at ESPN, baseball writer Buster Olney shared his thoughts on the Hill market.
[Hill] won’t be ready for the start of next year, and he could wait to audition for teams in the spring as he makes his way back from the elbow procedure.
Furthermore, he specifically mentions the Dodgers and Red Sox as two teams that would be a good fit for Hill.
The Dodgers like to compile a volume of starters, and Hill already has a working relationship with L.A.’s medical staff, so re-signing with the NL West champions on spec could make sense for both sides.
But he also could be a fit in Boston, the area in which he lives in the offseason after playing high school ball less than 10 miles from Fenway Park. With injury questions hovering over Chris Sale, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi, the Red Sox need a high volume of cheaper rotation options, and if Boston starts well in the 2020 season, he could represent a midseason upgrade.
First, the idea of an audition seems like a likely scenario, unless a familiar team does jump into the fray.
As it stands for LA, re-signing Hill would usually be right up Andrew Freidman’s alley. A low risk, high-reward deal where the veteran left-hander could potentially act as a mid-season pickup to help shore up either the rotation or the bullpen in a variety of roles. However, in an off-season where fans demand a big splash on the open market, a move like Hill might not be enough to ease the fan base.