Texas Rangers trade rumors: Rich Hill is the Texas Rangers best trade option according to speculation around the league, according to Buster Olney on Twitter tonight, now that Drew Pomeranz has been sent to Boston.
Hill is currently pitching for the Oakland A's on a one year deal that is paying him $6 million, which means that the he represents a rental, but a cheap rental in terms of salary. Hill, 36, has been outstanding this season, putting up a 2.25 ERA and a 2.57 FIP in 76 IP over 13 starts, with 90 Ks against 28 walks and just two home runs allowed. On the other hand, he has a track record that makes Drew Pomeranz look like Cole Hamels in terms of length and durability...Hill only had 4 starts last year, as a September call-up for the Red Sox, when he wowed everyone with a 1.55 ERA in 29 IP. Prior to that, he had not started in the majors since 2009, and his only season in the majors with at least 100 IP was in 2007. So while Hill has great stuff right now, and is putting up great numbers, you have to have at least some level of concern about whether it will hold up for the rest of the year.
So Hill is something of an enigma...but there aren't a whole lot of other great options that look likely to be available. Texas could try to buy low on Andrew Cashner, hoping he can make something click back where he went to college, or move him to the pen if that doesn't work, or they could see about getting a Jeremy Hellickson or someone of that ilk just to have someone to absorb innings until Colby Lewis is back. Jose Fernandez doesn't appear to be going anywhere, Sonny Gray is going to be expensive and isn't having a real good year, and the ChiSox starters don't seem likely to be on the market. You could look at a Jake Odorizzi or a Julio Teheran, but the price for guys like that is also expected to be prohibitive.
The other thing that's a problem here with Hill is that its hard to get a grasp on what the A's are going to be able to command in terms of a return for him, which makes it hard to sit here and say, yay, nay, whathaveyou. When Zack Greinke was traded on the cusp of being a free agent, the Rangers reportedly balked at giving up Mike Olt or Jurickson Profar, and he ended up going to the Angels in a deal headlined by Jean Segura. Matt Garza, the following year, ended up costing the Rangers a pretty steep package that included Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez (and reportedly initially had Rougned Odor in it until the Rangers balked over Garza's medicals).
So would Hill cost something similar to what Garza cost -- a price that even Jon Daniels has said, looking back, probably constituted an overpay? Would it be closer to the price for Scott Kazmir -- the lefthander with the great first half and the durability questions that Oakland sent to Houston last year for Jacob Nottingham and Daniel Mengden? Would you have to part with, say, Yohander Mendez or Ariel Jurado, plus another piece, to get Hill? Would the A's insist on something like Lewis Brinson or Luis Ortiz to part with a lefty starter with an ERA barely over 2?
Geez...things would be so much simpler right now if Colby Lewis were healthy, wouldn't they?