The Baltimore Orioles have looked into the free agent market to improve their team.
One name that they haven’t exactly scoped out is the 36-year old, left-handed pitcher Rich Hill. According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles were never in on Hill and he currently has an agreement in place to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I wanted to get a head start on one rumor, but it’s a moot point with the Dodgers reportedly having a three-year agreement in place with left-hander Rich Hill,” said Kubatko. “The Orioles weren’t in on Hill, according to a source. It didn’t make much sense, considering that they’re looking for pitching depth and Hill didn’t fit the description.”
Hill had his best season in 2016, pitching to a 12-5 record, 2.12 ERA and 110.1 innings, combined between the Oakland A’s and Dodgers. It is highly impressive for the 36-year old Hill to possibly have revived his career at such a late stage. He has a career 4.10 ERA and a 38-28 record over 12 seasons.
To put things lightly, the Orioles don’t want to sign another older veteran. Especially not one who has barely produced as a starter over the course of his 12-year career. Hill will be 39 at the end of his proposed contract with the Dodgers. It isn’t a move that the Orioles can afford to miss on, first because of his age and also because of his inconsistent play.
Hill pitched for Baltimore once upon a time, back in 2009. He didn’t have a very good time as an Oriole, pitching to a 3-3 record and a 7.80 ERA. That’s very bad. So bad that the Orioles are intelligent to not sign him at this moment.
They have already been burned by poor or mediocre pitching acquisitions within the past few seasons. Three of those previously mentioned mediocre pitchers are fighting for two spots in the rotation. As of right now, the Orioles have three really good starters.
Chris Tillman (28), Kevin Gausman (25) and Dylan Bundy (24) are the future and present of the Orioles starting staff. Dan Duquette and the rest of the Orioles brass should invest in these three pitchers because their return will be good.
Smart move Orioles.