The Mets have struck a deal to acquire the southpaw Rich hill in a trade with the departments, tweets Jon Heyman of the MLB Network. New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports Mets will send veteran right-hander Tommy Hunter (currently on the injured list) and minor league receiver / infielder Matt Dyer to Tampa Bay in the exchange (Twitter
connections). MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo first reported (via Twitter) that the two sides had engaged in talks, and Fanside’s Robert Murray said a deal was near. The trade is awaiting medical examinations of the players involved.
The exchange will surprise many, given the place of the Rays in the standings and the acquisition last night of Nelson cruz, but this serves as a further reminder that in today’s game many clubs cannot simply be categorized into strict “buy” or “sell” categories.
Hill, 41, has reached a 3.87 ERA in 95 1/3 innings so far in 2021, but he’s also struggled a lot since mid-June. In his last seven starts, he’s only had 33 1/3 innings and produced 20 runs on 34 hits and 16 walks. Seven of those hits left the court, and Hill’s 28 strikeouts (19.3%) during that time represent a pretty steep drop. Overall, he’s been sitting on a 5.40 ERA and 5.25 SIERA since June 12.
Despite his recent struggles, Hill gives the Mets a much-needed veteran arm to plug into the back of a struggling rotation – one with more advantages and a far better track record than recent options they’ve tried. New York has not yet received a round of Carlos Carrasco or Noah syndergaard in 2021, and depth options like Joey lucchesi, Jordan yamamoto and Thomas szapucki are all sidelined until the end of the season. Ace Jacob of Grom was recently put on the injured list due to a forearm problem and fifth starter David Peterson came out with an oblique stump.
With all these injuries piling up, the Mets have relied heavily on right-handed people. Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker, which have both exceeded expectations and launched brilliantly so far in 2021. Young right-hander Tylor Megill also performed well in his first five outings in the big leagues, but the Mets had a clear and pressing need for some sort of stability in the rotation. Hill can provide that, and if he can revert to his previous production levels, it could prove to be a decisive move for the Mets.
From the Rays’ perspective, it’s possible that Hill has simply fallen out of favor as one of the organization’s favorite rotation options. Tampa Bay has Ryan yarbrough, Shane mcclanahan, Luis Patino, Michael wacha and Josh fleming as alternatives on the big league roster, and there are several depth options behind them in Triple-A (including right-handed ballyhooed Shane Baz).
The inclusion of Hunter in the exchange is apparently a financial counterbalance to Hill. Mike Puma from the New York Post recently indicated that it was doubtful that Hunter, absent since May with back pain, could return in 2021. Hunter’s $ 2.25 million salary is a bit lighter than Hill’s $ 2.5 million salary . agreeing to take back his contract in return.
The Rays come away with an interesting prospect with Dyer, 23, who the Mets selected in the fourth round of the 2020 shortened draft. Dyer has spent the season with the Mets Class A affiliate and has shown disturbing swing tendencies. and-miss (30.9% strikeout rate), but he also walked at a high pace and showed good power. He’s hitting .194 / .329 / .452 with seven homers, seven doubles, one pair of triples and six steals, and Dyer spent time on catcher (65 innings), first base (80 innings), third base ( 66 innings) and right field (18 innings) so far this season.
The Baseball America Scout Report on Dyer ahead of last year’s draft suggested he had a longer arm, average speed and the potential to be an average or better five-position defenseman, including the wide receiver, which looks like a player on measure for the organization of Rays. Concerns over this year’s strikeouts underline that it’s far from a sure thing to hit enough to realize that potential, but he’s a somewhat interesting name to add to the system in exchange for a struggling pitcher. on an expiring contract.
While not an exchange that many would expect to see come together today, it does make sense for both sides. The Mets are filling a hole in their rotation with a veteran arm that will be virtually free from a financial perspective, while the Rays look to younger options on the starting staff and acquire a super-utility lottery ticket all the way. when dealing with a depth position.