The Los Angeles Angels have acquired lefty reliever Rich Hill from the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations.
After signing a minor league contract with Boston this past offseason, Hill, 34, has pitched well during the 2014 season with Triple-A Pawtucket. In 39 innings, Hill posted a 3.23 ERA, with a 10.4 K/9, and a 3.9 BB/9. Against left-handed batters, Hill has allowed a .196/.302/.196 slash line. Meanwhile, opposing right-handers are only batting .211/.296/.274 against Hill.
This deal does have its concerns, however. Rich Hill has an erratic track record throughout his career. Last season, Hill was with the Cleveland Indians, where he was teammates with Halos reliever Joe Smith. There, Hill posted a 6.28 ERA in 38 2/3 innings.
Hill also has some injury history. Since 2007 with the Chicago Cubs, his best season, Hill has battled shoulder and elbow problems, including surgery to repair a torn labrum, as well as Tommy John surgery.
One can even assume that Smith vouched for Hill, and perhaps that helped Jerry Dipoto in his decision to acquire Rich Hill.
Hill had a July 1 opt-out in his minor league deal with Boston. Upon acquiring Hill, the Angels promptly selected his contract. To make room on the active Major League roster, Michael Kohn was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.
This is yet another step in the Angels’ efforts to fix a struggling bullpen that is leading the American League in blown saves. Having enough of meltdowns and possibly some comments made in the media, the team traded Ernesto Frieri, this past Friday, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed reliever Jason Grilli.
Those bullpen struggles are the only thing standing in the Halos' way from the first place Oakland Athletics. This deal is low risk, potential for high reward, and adds more veteran presence to a an Angels bullpen that has, at times, been too young and immature.
And it appears that the Angels still aren't done making moves.