MLB Rumors: Dodgers Free Agent Rich Hill To Miss Opening Day Of 2020 Season, Likely ‘Won’t Be Able To Compete’ Until June After Undergoing Surgery
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill in Game 4 of the 2019 NLDS
Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Among the areas of their roster in which the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to address this offseason is the starting rotation. The club has been connected to top free agents Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg thus far, but will reportedly remain disciplined in contract negotiations.

As the Dodgers search for reinforcements to one of MLB’s best units in recent seasons, the club could also circle back to a couple of familiar faces in Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill.

Ryu is coming off a career 2019 season in which he posted the lowest ERA among qualified starters en route to a second-place finish in National League Cy Young Award voting. He now stands to sign a lucrative contract and is already said to be attracting suitors such as the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers.

While Ryu is believed to have a preference to re-sign with the Dodgers, both sides have yet to engage in serious negotiations. As for Hill, he has additionally made his desire known to return to L.A.

Following the Dodgers’ loss to the Washington Nationals, Hill reportedly underwent surgery and won’t be ready to pitch again until potentially the second half of the 2020 season, via Rob Bradford of WEEI:

According to a major league source, Hill underwent primary and revision surgery in late October and likely won’t be able to compete until June with the possibility of pushing the timetable until after the All-Star break.

Hill is valued not only for his contributions on the mound, but also as one of the leaders in the clubhouse. He is coming off an injury-plagued 2019 campaign that saw him log a combined 14 starts in the regular season and postseason.

Hill battled through separate elbow and knee injuries for much of the year and was limited when he returned to the mound in mid-September. That includes his start in Game 4 of the NL Division Series in which recorded only eight outs while walking four.

Hill, entering his age-40 season, was pegged by many to command a one-year contract this winter — leaving the door wide open for a potential return to the Dodgers.

While his surgery complicates matters, the Dodgers haven’t shied away from taking fliers on similar pitchers in the past, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Hill still finds his way back to the organization this offseason.

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