The Los Angeles Dodgers were linked to Tampa Bay Rays righty Chris Archer and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, among others, but ultimately addressed their need for a starting pitcher by acquiring Rich Hill in a five-player trade with the Oakland Athletics.
Although older than Archer and Sale, and not considered to be the same caliber of starter, Hill was arguably the best pitcher truly available at the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. He went 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA over 14 games (13 starts) with Oakland.
The one downside was Hill was on the disabled list at the time of being traded due to a nagging blister on the middle finger of his left hand.
He was scratched from his Dodgers debut on three separate instances before finally taking the mound Aug. 24.
Concerns over Hill’s blister led to the Dodgers pushing back a second start to Saturday, instead of allowing the southpaw to take the mound in the second game of a doubleheader earlier in the week.
Although there have been some bumps along the way, Hill has been everything the Dodgers could have hoped for. That has Los Angeles interested in re-signing the 36-year-old prior to free agency beginning, per Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe:
They would like to re-sign Hill to a multiyear deal before he becomes a free agent this winter.
Hill has thrown a combined 12 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts over two starts with the Dodgers. Hill hasn’t allowed an extra-base hit in either of the two outings.
He flirted with a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres, losing it in the sixth inning on a two-out single by Alexei Ramirez. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s win that Hill was unlikely to pitch beyond the sixth inning even if his no-hitter was still intact.
Locking up Hill in the coming weeks would be of added benefit for the Dodgers considering the weak class of starting pitchers who will be available this fall. What’s more, Los Angeles is facing a multitude of questions in their rotation.
Scott Kazmir presumably will opt in for the final two years and $32 million on his deal, but he’s been inconsistent this season and is currently on the disabled list. Brandon McCarthy us under contract through 2018, though he too is on the DL with a hip injury.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, also on the disabled list, has only managed to make one start and a return this season appears doubtful. Brett Anderson, another starter on the DL, is set to become a free agent after this season. Anderson accepted the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer last winter.