Rich Hill Indicates Desire to Stay in Los Angeles

(USA TODAY Sports Photo)

While some folks close to the Dodgers do not anticipate any major changes to the roster over the winter, there is still bound to be some minor movement, especially among the team’s free agents.

The big three players on the team who will declare free agency following the 2019 World Series are Hyun-Jin Ryu, Russell Martin and Rich Hill.

Seemingly, Ryu has continually expressed his interest to remain a Dodger, and it’s probably safe to assume that Martin would like to stay put as well. However, it was Hill who was the first to come out publicly after the season ended, stating his desire to remain in Los Angeles.

“I’d love to get the opportunity to come back here and wear the Dodger uniform again,” Hill said not long after the 2019 NLDS was decided. “It was really cool. It was a great honor, and hopefully something will play out and I can come back into this locker room and be part of this club. It’s just going to be a lot of fun watching these guys, good young players and a really good pitching staff coming back too.”

As far as logic goes from a performance standpoint, Hill could be the least of the trio likely to come back. However, from a business perspective, there could be a slight possibility of a return, especially if he is willing to throw in relief for a significantly lower salary.

The veteran lefty is coming off a three-year deal worth $48 million. His 2019 installment was just a little over $18.5 million.

There’s no way any team gives him close to those figures, especially when considering his overwhelming list of past injuries. Being that he’ll turn 40 even before the 2020 regular season begins, it’s safe to say that he won’t land a salary that’s half of what he made last season.

The biggest injury controversy surrounding Hill in recent years was the recurring blisters on his throwing finger. The problem reared its ugliest head in 2017, causing him to miss a big chunk of the season. The blisters resurfaced again early in 2018, but he was still able to rebound and make 24 starts on the year.

In 2019, he made just 13 regular season starts, as a forearm strain kept him on the shelf for the majority of the year. A knee injury compounded his late-season and playoff status, but he continued to persevere, garnering a start in NLDS Game 4, an affair the Dodgers eventually lost, 6-1.

It’s tough to say how much interest Hill will draw on the market, but if he remains in the MLB, he could conceivably shift back to being a reliever or a swing man. In 2013, he made a whopping 64 appearances for the Indians. His best year out of the bullpen came one year prior in Boston, when he threw 25 times in relief, producing an impressive 1.83 ERA.

With Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Ross Stripling all vying for spots in the rotation, one would think there would not be any consideration at all for Hill.

Ryu, on the other hand, is a completely different story. Stay tuned tomorrow for more thoughts on a prospective rotation lineup.


34 thoughts on “Rich Hill Indicates Desire to Stay in Los Angeles

  1. Dennis, if Hill was okay with going to the bullpen in a role you mentioned in the article, do you think he would be effective?

    1. If he could stay healthy, he’d have as good a chance as anybody. Especially considering how effective guys like Danny Hudson were this year. When Hill’s throwing his best, he’s pretty much untouchable, even at 39 years old. The big question is how often can a team expect him to go out there and throw his best. I suppose he’ll end up somewhere—the dude just loves to compete.

  2. Part two, do you think his arm would hold up better, or worse coming out of the bull pen.
    Scoop you seem to have some playing experience, I would like to get your thoughts on hills arm health if he came out of the BP

    1. I think for an inning every other day his arm would probably hold up fine. He doesn’t throw that hard. The question might be his legs. What’s he worth? Good question. Frankly I think we will look elsewhere for relief help. Not many relievers these days look like him.

      1. I think it will be interesting to see what the Dodgers offer Ryu. If he signs elsewhere, it certainly will feel very odd seeing him wearing an opposing uniform.

  3. Maybe they trade Stripling and use Hill in that roll next year. Not exactly sure he’s the guy you want to depend on to have his good stuff for one inning 3 or 4 days a week, but as a middle man he could be very helpful. I don’t think salary will be a problem and I’m sure AF would like to have him back in the clubhouse. He’s a very popular teammate.

  4. Bring back a 40 yr old in a relief role or as a spot starter? A guy who has had a myriad of injuries & I agree with Dennis, the forearm strain is the 1 that makes you sit up & take notice. For sentimentality I’d love to see him back but it’s not practical. AF needs to go internal or look outside– the 2 LH FA relievers that I like are Jake Diekman & old friend, Tony Watson.

  5. Sorry, but Dick Mountain’s tenure as a Dodger is FINI. He had his run, it is the kids turn now. A couple of interesting articles on Yahoo today. They had the poll from the beginning of the season rating the managers, and each teams outfield trio. Martinez of the Nats was rated 25th. Roberts was # 6. You would get a huge argument from blue fans that he is # 30. The Dodgers outfield was rated # 7. Of course that was before Cody went off and basically is the best CF in the game right now. He would be the best 1st baseman if he was over there everyday. My bet is that the Dodgers retain none of their free agents, non tender at least 3 of their arbitration eligible guys and trade maybe 4 of the players on the roster right now that had major roles on the team. Just guessing here, but one of either Kike or Taylor is dealt, Barnes non tendered. Garcia non tendered. Joc is trade fodder and though many think they might swap Seager, I think he stays right where he is.

  6. Maybe I’m thinking with my heart instead of my head, I always liked watching Hill, he always gives all he has, whether it’s enough or not.

    1. I love watching Hill pitch, but even more than that I love watching him hit and run the bases. He should come cheap. Sign him. If he gets injured again, it won’t kill us financially. We can always make him the new bullpen coach, replacing Prior.

      1. I’m assuming he isn’t working in MLB due to his own choice. It’s a shame because he would certainly be an asset to an MLB organization. If he’s still at UNLV at least those guys will be the better for it. I think his son was on the squad a couple of years ago so if he’s graduated, I’m not sure if Maddux is still there.
        I wonder if Maddux’ and Greinke’s paths have ever crossed. Two of the more cerebral guys to ever play the game. It would sure be nice to listen in to a conversation between the two of them if there ever was one.

  7. The most interesting baseball related story out there today is the desire of MLB to restructure the minor leagues. They are calling for virtually the elimination of 40 teams. They want to limit each team to 5 farm teams and cut out things like the AZL and rookie ball. The Yankees right now have 8 farm teams, I think the Dodgers have like 7. They have 2 rookie level AZL teams. Then they have, Ogden, Great Lakes, Rancho, Tulsa and OKC. This idea would limit the ability to get draftees playing right after they are drafted. The CBA expires after 2020 and they want to implement these new changes in the new CBA> It will supposedly help raise minor league salary’s

    1. Fewer jobs equals more pay? And the Major Leagues expands.

      I like this idea:

      “One proposal would be to geographically restructure into four divisions, which would create a major reduction in travel … and add to the natural rivalries by not just having them as inter-league attractions, but rather a part of the regular divisional battles.” (It would also likely mean every team would use a DH.)

      The four Divisions: The proposal assumes the two expansion teams end up in Portland and Montreal.

      East: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals
      North: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Montreal (Expos?), New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays
      Midwest: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royal, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
      West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Portland (Hipsters?), San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners

      1. That’s always been the case and there’s no reason for it. MLB obviously has enough money to help out.

  8. i Get the minor league thing, trying to keep the big money teams from having an advantage, but I hope the restructure proposal goes down in flames, I don’t mind a tweak here and there, but this seems a little on the radical side for me. We would be going back to 4 division winners, I like the fact that six teams get to be a division winner, less teams you have to beat to win your division, IMO.

    1. No Keith, I am back home in Colorado. I was out in Cali until mid June and then returned here. Portland would probably call itself the River Rats.

      1. Montreal would be a valuable addition. Not sure about Portland. Tampa and Miami just need to go.

      2. I do not think Montreal is a very good idea. They failed once. The Olympic dome was a dump. I do agree about Tampa and Miami, but I think Oakland, unless they vote for a new park should go also. Vegas is pumped to be getting pro football. Portland, like Seattle would most likely need a domed ball park, meaning a lot more money. You look around the US and there are just not that many places to expand to. Reduction would be better for the leagues, but the players would not be happy losing 52 jobs.

  9. Thanks bear, there was an older guy playing solo, with the exact same guitar as you have, at the Mexican restaurant on artesia Blvd last night, but he didn’t have a beard, it was the guitar that got me, you don’t see many with that stained natural finish. Plus you told me this was your old stomping grounds.

  10. MLB doesn’t need expansion, it’s time to move some teams out of bad markets.
    I don’t get all the Montreal talk, nobody was showing up at the games the last time they had a team, what has changed there to make everyone believe Montreal will support a new team?
    This is just going to be another small market team complaining about the big market teams having an unfair advantage.

    1. Keith, I thought the same thing about Montreal. Why there? So I read up on it.

      Montreal kinda got screwed by MLB. Montreal wants their Expos back. New people now. I think another team in Canada would work. Also, get the A’s out of Oakland. 1 Bay Area team is all they need. Send the A’s to Vegas. As far as “not needing expansion”, when has that ever mattered? What we must remember is that the planet and all it’s people are nothing more than inert commodities to corporations. Expand and consume until there is nothing left, then go to Mars and build a new stadium there.

  11. Thanks for the link scoop, after reading that, I wonder how they plan on funding the stadium? Doesn’t sound like there would be a lot of public money available. Even if the fans show up, who’s got a billion dollars laying around to build a state of the art ball park.

    1. Good question Keith. Have no idea. But I know a lot of money is flowing uphill. There must be some billionaires out there that want in on this.

      And Bear, contraction will not happen. It’s always about opening new markets.

  12. I know Scoop. That’s why they play games in Mexico City, Puerto Rico and London. But I do not think any of those has a chance at being an expansion site. It is just that they really do not have a whole lot of places to go. It is bad enough the game is watered down as it is, my opinion there guys. Lots of players making serious money now, would not have been on rosters years ago. Okay, if you want baseball in Florida, combine Miami and Tampa, build a really good baseball field there and see what happens. Tampa’s field is a joke and the stadium in Miami is not really a great place to watch a game. Yeah, Montreal got hosed, and maybe a team could thrive there, but they would need a stadium along the lines of the park in Toronto for them to succeed. Las Vegas would need a domed park. Even playing night games there would be highly uncomfortable. How many AAA city’s do you think would be capable of supporting a MLB franchise? OKC might as would San Antonio. There have already been discussions about the NFL moving there.

    1. Miami has the market size. Make it worth going and people might show up. Tampa? How do you keep them in the AL East? Montreal? With Toronto there too?

      Nothing will be done anytime soon.

  13. Watching the ball pass through Sanchez’s legs in the sixth inning, brought back some bad memories of grandal in the playoffs last season.

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