The Mets, who are in desperate need of starting pitching, have acquired left-hander Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange, the Mets are sending pitcher Tommy Hunter and Double-A catcher Matt Dyer back to Tampa Bay. To make room for Hill on the 40-man roster, the team has transferred Robert Stock to the 60-day IL.
The Mets will be Hill’s 11th major league team, and his fourth in four years. The veteran is in his 17th major league season and his first with the Rays. For his career, he has a 3.80 ERA, a 3.99 FIP, and a 1.22 WHIP in 1,071.1 innings. This season, he has pitched to a 3.87 ERA, a 4.55 FIP, and a 1.16 WHIP, with 91 strikeouts in 95.1 innings across 19 starts. However, he does own a 5.40 ERA, a 5.92 FIP, and a 1.50 WHIP over his last seven outings.
The Rays recently acquired Nelson Cruz, and the speculation was that they would be looking to potentially dump some salary to offset the cost of acquiring the slugger. That played right into the Mets’ hand, since they were looking for a starter and many teams are not yet ready to deal. The Rays had signed Hill to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million over the offseason, so the Mets will be on the hook for roughly half of that amount. To get him, New York have parted with Hunter, who is possibly out for the season, and Dyer, whom they drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft.
To say that the Mets badly need starting pitchers and quickly is an understatement, as the club has nobody slotted to pitch on Sunday or in Monday’s doubleheader. With Tylor Megill going tonight and Wednesday, Taijuan Walker on Saturday and Thursday, and Marcus Stroman likely on Tuesday, this created a dire need for a trade to be made early this weekend.
The Mets still do not know how long Jacob deGrom will be out, and the timetable for Carlos Carrasco’s return is still up in the air after his subpar rehab start. As a result, the team is still rumored to be looking at starting pitchers beyond their most recent acquisition. Hill, who last pitched on July 18, could slot into either the Sunday game against the Toronto Blue Jays, or in one of Monday’s doubleheader games against the Atlanta Braves.