NEW YORK, NY – Lost in the glare of the MLB Trade Dealine, the acquisition of Jaiver Baez and Trevor Williams, the New York Mets acquired left-handed pitcher Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays, making the move with the aim of adding depth to their pitching department. The Mets sent reliever Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer the other way.
The Rays have been pretty active with trades over the last couple of days, having traded for Minnesota Twins slugger Nelson Cruz in a four-player affair on Thursday. They should see their chances of returning to and winning the World Series increase on the back of such a development.
The 41-year-old Hill is 6-4 with an ERA of 3.87 in 19 starts for the Rays this season. He has pitched just 95? innings this year under the limits set by Tampa Bay’s pitching strategy. He was due to start against the Cleveland Indians this Friday but that will no longer be the case given his move. The move to New York marks involvement with 11 major league outfits in 17 years.
“With injuries creating a sizeable hole in their rotation, the Mets finalized a deal on Friday to shore up that unit,” the team reported when the deal was made. “The team acquired lefty starter Rich Hill from the Rays for catching prospect Matt Dyer and reliever Tommy Hunter.
“The timing is important for the Mets, who have multiple open spots in their rotation upcoming this Sunday and Monday. Hill, 41, can immediately step into one of them. He had been scheduled to pitch on Saturday for the Rays, who had the opposite problem: too many starting pitchers for too few slots. Tampa Bay recently called up Luis Patiño from the minors, and it’s looking forward to Chris Archer’s return. That made Hill expendable.
“To complete the deal, the Mets will take on what’s left of Hill’s $2.5 million salary. They agreed to part with Hunter, who has spent most of the year on the 60-day IL battling back problems, and Dyer, a 23-year-old catcher who was their fourth-round Draft pick in 2020.”
Hunter, meanwhile, has made four appearances this season and hasn’t allowed a single run. The 35-year-old, who has pitched for the Rays in the past, has a career ERA of 4.04. He was put in the 10-day injured list on May 21 and was moved to the 60-day list on June 11 due to pain in his lower back.
Dyer, 23, was drafted by New York in the fourth round last year and is hitting .194 along with seven home runs and 20 RBIs for Class A St. Lucie this season.
The Mets currently lead the NL East and most of the sportsbooks in New York, they are standing at 19/4 to win the National League. However, they badly need help at starting pitch given that Jacob DeGrom and David Peterson are nursing injuries. To add to that, Carlos Carrasco struggled in a recent rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse and allowed three homers in 1? innings. He settled down in his first Mets start after the first batter homered, though… Noah Syndergaard has also had his rehab paused because of elbow soreness after Tommy John surgery.
The team has used 15 different starting pitchers so far this term and is tied with the Miami Marlins for the most in the MLB. They have a four-game lead over the Phillies and Braves in spite of their injuries, however.
Manager Louis Rojas will be pleased with the news after recently picking up a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for excessive arguing with the umpires. The coach started serving his suspension prior to a win over Cincinnati on Monday, having indicated he wasn’t given an opportunity to appeal.
“I’m a little upset that I’m going to be missing the next two games,” he said on Monday. “I missed the team for 8 2/3 (innings) yesterday, not getting to watch from the dugout. But the league’s got to do what they gotta do. We know how sometimes things get heated up.
“I got hot because it was a bad call. He made an embarrassing play. That’s what led me to escalate the way I did. It’s the heat of the moment, the play. Getting close and arguing. I wanted it to be checked with the other umpires and I was denied. I still firmly believe it was foul. I would love for a play like that to be reviewable.”
“I’ll be rooting for the guys,” he added, revealing he would be watching the game on television. He will certainly be happy to have a new pitcher coming in on the back of all of the injury worries.