Rich Hill leaves Red Sox, agrees to one-year, $8 million deal with Pirates

Rich Hill’s latest stint with the Red Sox appears to be over.

The veteran left-hander has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Pirates, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal is pending a physical.

Hill, who turns 43 in March, inked a one-year pact with the Red Sox last December. It marked the seventh time the Milton, Mass. native had signed with his hometown team as a free agent.

In 26 starts for Boston this past season, Hill posted a 4.27 ERA and 3.92 FIP with 109 strikeouts to 37 walks over 124 1/3 innings of work. That includes a 2.36 ERA (3.23 FIP) in his final five starts (26 2/3 innings) from September 11 through October 3.

Hill expressed interest in returning to the Red Sox in 2023 but never received a formal contract offer from the club, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. The lefty will instead take his talents to Pittsburgh, where he will reunite with former Boston general manager Ben Cherington. The $8 million Hill will receive next season represents a 60 percent raise from the $5 million he earned in 2022.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Hill considered retiring from baseball in 2023 or waiting until the second half of the season to sign with a contending team. Although the Pirates — who have lost 100 or more games in each of the last two seasons — are in the middle of a rebuild, they could look to flip the southpaw for prospects ahead of next summer’s trade deadline.

In the meantime, Hill is slated to join a starting rotation mix in Pittsburgh that includes the likes of Mitch Keller, JT Brubaker, Roansy Contreras, and Vince Velazquez.

The Pirates will mark Hill’s 12th different team over the course of a 19-year big-league career. He debuted for the Cubs in 2005 and has since pitched for the Orioles, Red Sox, Guardians, Angels, Yankees, Athletics, Dodgers, Twins, Rays, and Mets.

Hill becomes the latest Red Sox free agent to sign elsewhere this winter. Xander Bogaerts (Padres), J.D. Martinez (Dodgers), and Matt Strahm (Phillies) have all left for different clubs in recent weeks. Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha are among those who remain unsigned.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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