The Boston Red Sox have a hole in their starting pitching rotation, a hole that grew even bigger Thursday when Rick Porcello reportedly agreed to sign with the New York Mets.
Boston must find some way to replace the 174 innings Porcello logged in 2019, and the club might turn to a familiar face to help.
The Red Sox and Rich Hill have seemed like a natural fit since the offseason began, and the veteran left-hander told The Athletic he has spoken with “multiple teams, including the Dodgers and Red Sox,” as a free agent this offseason. Of course, the 39-year-old Hill is an imperfect solution for a team like the Red Sox, as the left-hander is expected to be out until June after offseason elbow surgery.
Hill resurrected his career with the Red Sox in 2015, ultimately leading to his three-plus-year stint with the Dodgers. When healthy, Hill was of the better left-handers in the game, striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings. The Dodgers’ run afforded him a ton of playoff experience, and he pitched well, allowing 15 earned runs in 50 postseason innings, including three World Series starts with LA.
“I like to play in front of a lot of people,” Hill told The Athletic. “I like the excitement. I like the heat of the big market. I really enjoy that.”
The Milton, Mass., native might have a decision to make, of course.
“If it?s back in LA, that would be great,? Hill told The Athletic. “I would obviously love to go back to LA. And home is Boston. Both of those places might not work out. But there?s a whole bunch of other teams that are going to be contenders in 2020 that are interested.”
The market for pitchers like Hill should soon start heating up, as evidenced by Porcello’s reported deal with the Mets. There’s a fairly robust market for starting pitchers this weekend, and recent contracts for top-end starters Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg should start opening the floodgates for the next tier of pitchers like Hill.