MLB Trade Rumors: Oakland A's pitcher Rich Hill, who the Texas Rangers have interest in, has a high price tag currently, it seems. Buster Olney tweets that the A's initially asked for pitcher Anderson Espinoza for Hill when the Boston Red Sox inquired on the Oakland lefty -- Espinoza, of course, ended up getting sent to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Olney says that after the BoSox rejected the Espinoza proposal, Oakland came back with a different offer that apparently also isn't happening.
Its still early, of course, and with two weeks before the trade deadline, there's still time for the ask on Hill (and other starting pitchers) to come down. But to put this in perspective, a roughly equivalent demand by the A's from the Rangers would be Joey Gallo or Jurickson Profar -- this, for a 36 year old pitcher who has been great this season, but who has also missed time with a groin injury, and who was pitching in an indy league at one point last season, and who also is a free agent after the season.
Oakland is out of the race and would seem to be a motivated seller, since Hill won't clear waivers in August, and since every start he makes for Oakland carries with it the risk of something going wrong with Hill -- he left after five pitches from his start today due to a blister, and his age and injury history mean there's more risk than usual anyway. On the other hand, Oakland could simply decide they're willing to hang onto Hill and hit him with the qualifying offer after the season if they don't like what is on the table. At a $6 million salary, Hill is relatively inexpensive, so it isn't as if Oakland is going to want to move him to save on salary.
Nevertheless, one would assume that Hill ends up getting moved eventually. Someone will decide they need a lefty starter with an ERA just over two, even on a rental, and even with the injury history, and Oakland will likely end up making a deal. From the Rangers' perspective, the problem they are currently running into is that, once you get past Gallo, Profar and Lewis Brinson -- players you would think Texas wouldn't want to give up for Hill -- that next tier of prospects isn't real strong. Luis Ortiz missed his start tonight with a groin issue, 2015 #4 overall pick Dillon Tate is currently a mess in low-A, and Michael Matuella is done for the year after just one start. That leaves guys like Ryan Cordell and Ronald Guzman and Yohander Mendez as the cream of the next group, and I suspect that Oakland will get better prospects to choose from than Hill than that group.