While it isn’t a name that will excite Yankees fans, the Bombers have been evaluating a potential trade for left-handed reliever Tim Hill of the Royals.
It’s been a slow start to the Hot Stove season thus far. However, with the Winter Meetings set to begin on Dec 8 in San Diego, brace yourself for chatter and rumors-galore about the Yankees being connected to any number of players via trades and free agency.
Although the Yanks made their first acquisition of the winter last week, signing 27-year-old Zack Granite to a minor league deal, the outfielder from Staten Island, NY, did get an invite to spring training and a June 15 opt-out clause.
So as we wait for general manager Brian Cashman to pull the trigger on more impactful players (starting pitchers) — for now we’ll have to settle for links to relief pitchers.
Trading Nestor Cortes to the Mariners for international bonus money was necessary to open a 40-man roster spot, but it also created the possibility for the Yanks to add a veteran southpaw.
Enter Tim Hill of the Kansas City Royals. According to Mark Feinsand, the Yankees like Hill’s makeup. A sinkerball pitcher that drops down to a submarine-style, Hill employs a four-seam fastball in the low 90s and an 80-mph slider.
Incredibly adept at getting left-handed hitters out, Hill has held them to a .211/.276/.248 slash line since making his major league debut in 2018. His 70 appearances led the Royals during his rookie campaign.
Last season, the soon-to-be-30-year-old was 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, 3.84 FIP and 8.8 K/9 across 39.2 innings (46 games). Hill has only allowed a total of eight home runs during his career (116 games / 85.1 IP) — a very positive stat should he find himself making regular appearances at Yankee stadium
With four years left of club control, which includes not being arbitration-eligible until next offseason, Hill could become that lefty specialist out of an already stout Yankees ‘pen.
One caveat to remember is that MLB has changed the rule that all pitchers must face a minimum of three batters or pitch to end a half-inning. Therefore, should a trade for Hill go through, he’ll need to be stretched out a bit.