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.
So it is Tommy Hunter and Matt Dyer to the Rays for Rich Hill. #mets— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 23, 2021
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.
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 while pitching to a 6-4 record and a 3.87 ERA.
The Mets will likely still be active before the deadline on July 30, targeting more pitching depth and a versatile infielder.