All it cost the New York Mets to pick up Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays in July was an injured veteran reliever, Tommy Hunter, and a minor league catcher none of us were familiar with.
Since joining the Mets, Hill has performed close to what I think everyone expected. His ERA in Tampa Bay was 3.87 in 95.1 innings. Through his first 48.2 with New York, it is just 3.88. In this regard, despite being 0-3, he has been exactly as advertised.
Unfortunately, there’s one more part of this trade to explore. Because Hill won’t help them win a World Series and it didn’t appear they gave up much to get him, this could have been a no-decision. Then I look at the statistics Matt Dyer has put together in his first 100 plate appearances in Single-A for his new club.
The Mets traded Matt Dyer and suddenly he learned how to hit
In 152 trips to the plate for the Single-A St. Lucie Mets, Dyer batted .194/.329/.452 with 7 home runs and 20 RBI. It was already anything to get excited about. Trading him for big league help made total sense.
The theme for Dyer’s season has been much different since joining the Rays organization. Now a little more than 100 plate appearances into his tenure with them, Dyer has been a completely different hitter for Charleston, the Single-A affiliate of the Rays.
How great has he been? In 106 trips to the plate, he possesses a .351 batting average and a dangerous 1.049 OPS. Dyer has already hit 5 home runs and driven in 13 runs since the swap while also legging out 3 triples.
I’m not about to leap to the conclusion that the Mets traded away the next American League superstar. However, there’s no doubt Dyer has a chance to become a sneaky-good player on an already long list of Mets players who got away too soon.
Years away from sniffing the big leagues, Dyer is sure to become one of those players we watch disappear then come back into our consciousness if he ever does reach the majors. How good will he be? I guess that’s up to him.
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When he does make his major league debut, we can reflect on the tenure Hill had with the Mets and how it ultimately led to little more than some fun old guy jokes and a few quality starts. Then we can quietly sob as Dyer wins a batting title.