On Friday, July 23rd, 2021 the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they have traded their veteran left – handed starting pitcher, Rich Hill, to the New York Mets in exchange for the relief pitcher, Tommy Hunter, and the minor league catcher, Matt Dyer, who were sent packing to the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week. This new agreement between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets happened to take place just several days before the 2021 MLB trade deadline of Friday, July 30th, 2021. Hopefully for the New York Mets this deal in which they acquire Hill will help them to fill the void of the nagging and lingering injuries they have been dealing with to their starting pitching rotation recently.
Mets’ Current Starting Pitching Situation
Currently the New York Mets have been placing their ace starting pitcher in Jacob deGrom on and off the injured list as well as their left – handed pitching specialist, David Peterson. The New York Mets have also been playing without Carlos Carrasco as well as Noah Syndergaard for the majority of this year as they are both trying to work their way back in to the New York Mets’ starting pitching rotation after suffering severe injuries and ailments. With the new addition of Hill on the mound for the New York Mets they are planning on staying in first place in the highly competitive National League East division this year, and hopefully winning their division heading in to the upcoming 2021 Major League Baseball playoffs.
Two Trades in Two Days for the Tampa Bay Rays
This just so happened to be the second trade in only two days for the mighty defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. Just one day earlier the Minnesota Twins sent veteran power – hitting right fielder / designated hitter, Nelson Cruz, as well as minor league relief pitcher, Calvin Faucher, to the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange for Cruz and Faucher the Minnesota Twins will receive the minor league right – handed pitchers, Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman.
It seems as if the small – market Tampa Bay Rays will not go away quietly. They made it all the way to the 2020 MLB World Series last year, and they plan on getting back there this year no matter what it takes including risky trades and other gambles that they have been relying on lately.
The Reason for Rich Hill Trade
The Tampa Bay Rays were simply making room for a couple of starting pitchers that they have a lot of faith in including the 21 – year – old Luis Patino as well as the former MLB All – Star Chris Archer. Archer is returning to the Tampa Bay Rays’ starting pitching rotation after rehabbing from right forearm tightness, and the right – handed relief pitcher, Luis Patino, will be looking to help the Tampa Bay Rays contend for another American League pennant during the remainder of the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
Hill has pitched for 11 MLB franchises over his long and successful 17 – year Major League Baseball career. Rich pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 2005 to 2008, the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, the Boston Red Sox from 2010 to 2012, the Cleveland Indians in 2013, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the New York Yankees both in 2014, the Boston Red Sox once again in 2015, the Oakland Athletics in 2016, the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2016 to 2019, the Minnesota Twins in 2020, and now the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets both in 2021 as well.
Hopefully Hill’s experience and pitching expertise can help the young and gritty New York Mets make their way through a long and successful 2021 MLB postseason run. The 41 – year – old crafty veteran has recorded an overall record of 6 and 4 with an earned run average of 3.87 throughout the course of his 19 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
Tommy Hunter and Matt Dyers’ Baseball Background
According to the analysts at ESPN, “Hunter, 35, previously pitched for the Rays in 2017. The 14 – year veteran has made four appearances for the Mets this season and hasn't allowed a run. The right – hander has a career ERA of 4.04. He was placed on the 10 – day injured list on May 21 and transferred to the 60 – day IL on June 11 with lower back pain. Dyer, who is 23 and was drafted by the Mets in the fourth round in 2020, is hitting .194 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs for Class – A St. Lucie this season.”
"I think a lot of people in the game know the name -- guy that's been around, pitching good baseball, pitching playoff baseball,'' the New York Mets’ manager, Luis Rojas, explained to the sports media world regarding the trade in which they acquired the crafty left – hander, Rich Hill. "It's a great fit, great acquisition. Our front office is being diligent. One of the needs we've talked about is our starting pitching need and this is a guy that fits right in.''
"There is a commitment to Chris (Archer), as long as he fulfills his side, to be here in August,'' says the Tampa Bay Rays’ general manager, Erik Neander. "We think the world of Rich, but this gives us the chance to balance our lineup.''
Hill’s Baseball Career Achievements, Honors, and Awards
- 2 Time American League Pitcher of the Month (May 2016, May 2021)
- National League Pitcher of the Month (July 2017)
- Tony Conigliaro Award (2019)
“New York Mets acquire Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Rich Hill in three-player deal”, espn.com, July 23, 2021.
“Rich Hill”, baseball-reference.com, July 25, 2021.