Much like Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, Rich Hill reigns as one of, if not the premier free-agent option, at his position group. But at 36 years old, Hill is the elder statesman who enjoyed a bounce-back season.
His success with the Oakland Athletics during the first half of 2016 resulted in Hill being packaged to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a five-player trade prior to the non-waiver deadline. That was despite the southpaw being on the disabled list at the time due to a blister.
Hill’s debut with the Dodgers didn’t come for three weeks, but he was as advertised. However, the organization remained cautious in their handling of Hill, because of the lingering trouble with blisters.
The Dodgers have been open with their desire to re-sign Hill, and according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, may have a three-year agreement in place:
Hill would love to come back east and pitch for the Red Sox, Yankees, or Orioles, but the Dodgers want him back and there are rumors that they may have already sealed the deal at three years and $46 million-$48 million.
Building on previous reports of an agreement, Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register notes the Dodgers and Hill are close to a deal:
#Dodgers closing in on multi-year deal with LHP Rich Hill. Not done yet
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) December 4, 2016
Hill went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts for Los Angeles. Overall, the left-hander finished the year 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA, 2.39 FIP and 0.99 WHIP in 20 starts. Hill was 1-1 with a combined 3.46 ERA in three postseason starts.
He expressed a desire last month to return with the Dodgers, citing the organization’s leadership and Clayton Kershaw as reasons to re-sign. Los Angeles was said to have interest in locking up Hill on a multiyear contract prior to free agency beginning.
Beyond the Dodgers, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers were reported to be in pursuit of Hill.