Tampa Bay Rays send Rich Hill to New York Mets for Prospects
By: Andrew Santangelo (@aj_santangelo)
The Tampa Bay Rays are at it again. One day after making a trade to bring in veteran Nelson Cruz. The Rays have now traded veteran Rich Hill to the New York Mets. The Rays will acquire veteran relief pitcher Tommy Hunter and current minor leaguer Matt Dyer in the trade. Both teams are in the middle of a division race, with the Rays trailing the Red Sox by one game and the Mets leading both the Braves and the Phillies by four games apiece.
The Mets make this trade in need of starting pitching depth after all-star Jacob deGrom continues to spend time on the IL. The move adds valued depth and a significant veteran impact. The acquisition also still allows for a higher value started as the trade deadline approaches. This could be a short-term option for the Mets as once deGrom and other return from the IL, Hill could be moved to the bullpen as a long innings option. Mets have been rumored around countless different trade partners through the last week.
The Mets will be Hill’s 11th team since joining the big leagues back in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs. He has posted a career ERA of 3.80 with a record of 73-48 over 17 seasons in the big leagues. This season he is 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA through 19 starts in 2021. However, the veteran lefty has struggled in his last seven games, posting a 5.40ERA through 33.1IP, allowing 20ER and going 1-2 through those seven games.
This move also allows the Rays to possibly return to using one of their younger arms that the league has seen in the past in a player like Ryan Yarbrough. The Rays have not been afraid to use younger players or make big splash trade. As we saw in the offseason when they moved Blake Snell in the offseason to the Padres.
The Rays bring in veteran relief pitcher Hunter who has battled injury after injury over the last few seasons, including this year. Hunter has only appeared in four games this season, throwing eight scoreless innings with six strikeouts. He has not seen game action since May 18th against the Atlanta Braves, and reports speculated whether he would be able to return this season as he continues to be on the 60 days IL. Over the last three seasons, Hunter has thrown in 33 games for 38 total innings pitched. His career ERA is 4.04 since joining the big leagues back in 2008 with the Texas Rangers.
Along with Hunter, the Rays acquired Matt Dyer, a recent draft pick by the Mets in the 2020 shortened MLB draft being selected in the fourth round out of Arizona. The 23-year-old has struggled this season in Class A ball, hitting .194 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and six stolen bases through 124AB in 36 games so far in 2021.
It is hard to believe that either team is done making moves with the deadline precisely one week away; things should continue to heat up around the league.