Current free agent and Dodgers fan favorite Rich Hill will not be ready for the start of the season, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.
Hill underwent primary revision surgery, an alternative to Tommy John surgery that will allow him to return in the middle of the summer instead of being potentially career-ending. Simply put, D Mountain does not have the time left at age 39 to be able to wait out the Tommy John recovery period.
Hill pitched through a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) for the majority of the 2019 season. Hill enters free agency this offseason after signing a three-year, $48 million deal with the Dodgers following the 2016 season.
It shows what Rich Hill is all about and why his teammates love and respect him. Hill pitched with a detached UCL in his left arm the final month of the season. He had a procedure to reattach it and plans to begin throwing in January and will be ready to pitch for a team in June.
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) November 25, 2019
Dick Mountain has been very vocal about his desire to continue to defy the odds of age and do so with the Dodgers. There has been some additional speculation surrounding Hill about potentially returning to the Boston Red Sox considering his roots there.
Despite his age, Hill has been excellent for the Dodgers when he has been on the field. He posted a 3.16 ERA in 68 starts for the club across three and a half seasons and a 2.45 ERA in 2019 alone. He still has a lot left in the tank due to the low mileage on his arm.
While fans want to see Hill return, it’s been noted that a Boston move might be the best for him, personally. Still, if the Dodgers could grab Rich Hill on the cheap this off-season, he could be an explosive addition down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2020. And chances are that he’ll come on the cheap.