Pittsburgh Pirates SPLURGE on a Rich Hill Signing (Alternative Title: Yes, Rich Hill is Still Pitching)

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Pittsburgh Pirates SPLURGE on a Rich Hill Signing (Alternative Title: Yes, Rich Hill is Still Pitching)

Chicago Cubs

Earlier this offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a one-year, $6.7 million deal. On its face, unremarkable other than for the mild twin impacts on the first base market and the NL Central.

But it was actually QUITE remarkable, because the signing was the most opulent for the Pirates in SIX YEARS. Pittsburgh had literally not signed a free agent to a contract larger than $6.7 million total since 2016. That is nuts.

Fortunately for whatever lawyer has to defend the ongoing MLBPA grievance against teams like the Pirates for not spending, they didn’t wait another six years before topping the Santana deal:

Rich Hill, who’ll pitch all of next season at age 43, is still getting after it, having thrown 124.1 innings of 4.27 ERA ball last year for the Red Sox. By ERA- and FIP-, Hill was just about an average pitcher last year, which has plenty of value.

For the Pirates, an $8 million addition to the starting rotation is a significant outlay of cash, though I think it’s just as likely they’re aiming to buy a flippable starter for the trade deadline (and a little veteran leadership in the interim). I don’t really care to see the Pirates be competitive in the NL Central in 2023 – the Cubs’ margin for topping the Cardinals and Brewers is slim enough as it is – but I don’t mind rooting on Rich Hill to keep being an effective starting pitcher deep into his 40s.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.