The Mets have reached an agreement to get left Rich Hill in a trade with the Rays, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are violating veteran law Tommy Hunter (currently on the injured list) and slightly younger catcher / infielder Matt Dyer to Tampa Bay in swap (Twitter
ligami). MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported for the first time (via Twitter) that the two parties had participated in discussions, and Robert Murray of Fansided said an agreement was close. The deal is awaiting medical reviews from the players involved.
The swap will come as a surprise to many, given the Rays ’place in the standings and last night’s purchase. Nelson Cruz, but it serves as another reminder that in today’s game, many clubs cannot simply be placed in narrow categories of “buyer” or “seller”.
Hill, 41, has gone on a 3.87 ERA through 95 1/3 innings until 2021, but has also struggled pretty much since mid-June. In his past seven starts, he has counted just 33 1/3 innings and has given 20 runs in 34 hits and 16 walks. Seven of those hits left the yard, and Hill’s 28 hits (19.3 percent) at the time represent a fairly sharp drop. Overall, it has been sitting on 5.40 ERA and 5.25 SIERA since June 12th.
Despite his recent struggles, Hill gives the Mets a much-needed veteran arm to insert into the back of a sick rotation – one with more ups and a much bigger track than the last few options they’ve tried. New York has not even received an inning since Carlos Carrasco o Noah Syndergaard in 2021, and depth options such as Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto and Thomas Szapucki they are all put together at the end of the season. Ace James deGrom hit the injured list recently due to a forearm problem, and fifth rookie David Peterson it is out with an oblique stem.
With all those injuries piled up, the Mets have put a lot of emphasis on rights Marcus Stroman and Walker in Taijuan, which both exceeded expectations and launched brilliantly until 2021. Young righty Tylor Megill he also did well in his first five big league outings, but the Mets had a clear and urgent need to get some sort of stability in the rotation. Hill can provide that, and if he can get back to his previous levels of production he could prove a big difference for the Mets.
From the Rays ’point of view, it’s possible that Hill just fell out of favor as one of the organization’s preferred rotation options. Tampa Bay has Ryan Yarbrough, Shane McClanahan, Luis Patino, Michael Wacha and Josh Fleming as an alternative to the big league list, and there are several depth options behind them in Triple-A (including rightly ballyhooed Shane Baz).
Hunter’s inclusion in the swap is apparently like a financial counterweight to Hill. Recently Mike Puma of the New York Post indicated which was doubtful Hunter, who has been out since May with a return effort, could return in 2021. Hunter’s $ 2.25M salary is a little lighter than Hill’s $ 2.5M salary, so the Rays save a $ 99K nominal enough to agree to take his contract back.
The Rays have come up with an interesting prospect in the 23-year-old Dyer, whom the Mets selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft pick. Dyer spent the season with the Mets ’Class A affiliate and showed some regarding swing-and-miss trends (30.9 percent strikeout percentage), but he also walked to a high clip and showed good power. He hit .194 / .329 / .452 with seven homers, seven doubles, a pair of triples and six RBIs, and Dyer spent time on the catcher (65 innings), first base (80 innings), in third. base (66 innings) and in right field (18 innings) so far this season.
Baseball America Discovery Report on Dyer before last year’s draft suggested he had one more arm, an average speed and the potential to be an average defender or better at five positions, including catcher, who sounds like a player tailor-made for the Rays organization. Concerns about this year’s pitch underscore that it’s far from a sure thing to hit enough to realize that potential, but it’s a somewhat interesting name to add to the system in exchange for a pitcher struggling with an expiring contract.
While it’s not a job that many would expect to see reunite today, there is some sense for both parties. The Mets are tapping a hole in their rotation with a veteran arm that will be virtually free from a financial standpoint, while the Rays are turning to younger options on starting staff and getting a super utility lottery ticket while dealing with a position of depth.