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New York Mets acquire Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Rich Hill

New York Mets, Rich Hill
Jul 18, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Rich Hill (14) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are finalizing a trade to fill a void in their rotation, acquiring Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Rich Hill in a multi-player deal.

Just a week before the MLB trade deadline, interim general manager Zack Scott said that strengthening rotation was the club’s biggest priority. On Friday, they landed a veteran who will help cover some crucial innings in the second half of the season.

MLB insider Robert Murray first reported the two sides were closing in on a trade. According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, the Rays will receive relief pitcher Tommy Hunter and minor-league catcher Matt Dyer.

Tampa Bay signed Hill to a one-year contract this spring, adding the 41-year-old southpaw to add depth to the rotation. After paying a portion of his $2.5 million salary this season, the Rays are offloading his contract to help account for the Nelson Cruz trade.

  • Rich Hill stats (2021): 3.87 ERA, 91/36 K/BB ratio, 1.16 WHIP and .217 BAA across 95.1 innings

New York became desperate for pitching following the latest Jacob deGrom injury. While he is making progress and Carlos Carrasco is closing in on a return, the team has still lost multiple starters to the IL in recent months.

Hill, who has experienced durability issues throughout his career, will slide into New York’s rotation immediately. Across 19 starts this season, he has thrown six-plus innings seven times and covered five innings in 12 of his starts.

The Mets will likely still be active before the deadline on July 30, targeting more pitching depth and a versatile infielder.