The Rich Hill experience in 2021 was mostly inconsequential. The veteran starter joined us for the journey a few days before the July 30 trade deadline. He would go on to make 12 starts, a relief appearance that was really a start, and total up 63.1 innings of work for the New York Mets.
Altogether, he would finished with a 1-4 record and a 3.84 ERA. It wasn’t brilliant. It was hardly memorable. But it was exactly what I think we should have expected.
Hill is a free agent this winter. As suitable as an option as he would be to return, there just isn’t room for him without dismantling a few other parts of the roster.
Rich Hill gave the Mets what they needed but they needed much more
Hill is one of the most interesting characters in the game of baseball. He’s not necessarily quirky. It’s the way his career has gone which makes him somewhat of a legend.
Way back in 2005, he was a rookie for the Chicago Cubs with his whole career in front of him. In only a few years, the injury bug began to bite him and his career trajectory took a major turn. He was a journeyman early on and would remain so until 2015 when he made four remarkable starts for the Boston Red Sox following a stint in the Independent League.
It’s impossible not to like Hill. He is an ultimate underdog in baseball. Sadly, still sans a championship, he appears on the verge of just missing out yet again in 2021.
Hill spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2016-2019 only to see them win it all in 2020. This year, on a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, it looked like it might all come to an end. He would finally add the jewelry to his finger.
The trade to the Mets from Tampa Bay has nixed that possibility. He’ll now need to watch from home as his former team tries to get to the World Series for the second consecutive year.
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For Hill’s sake, I kind of hope he does stick around. He tossed 158.2 innings this year—the most since his 2015 comeback. Although his 40th birthday is in the past, Hill has yet to completely slow down. In some capacity, I hope he remains in the game next season and finally does get his championship.