KC Royals: 6 Trade Targets After Losing Moustakas, Gordon
By John Viril
1) Oakland A’s Pitcher Rich Hill
Rich Hill might be the guy that could help the KC Royals more than any other player available at the trade deadline. The 36-year-old Hill has transformed himself from a career journeyman into an ace by changing to a full overhand motion from a sidearm slot a few years ago.
Last fall, Rich Hill was pitching in the independent Atlantic League before the Red Sox signed him to contract. In four starts with the BoSox, Hill lasted more than 7.0 innings per outing with more than 10 strikeouts in each game.
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That performance attracted the notice of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, who inked Hill to a one-year $6 million deal and inserted him into the A’s starting rotation.
In 10 starts this season, Hill rewarded Beane’s faith with a 2.18 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 57.2 innings (10.2 K/9). Going back to last season, Hill held opponents to less than three runs for 14 consecutive starts.
That, ladies and gentleman, is called giving your team a chance to win every time you take the ball.
We know that Dayton Moore and Billy Beane can make deals. Last summer they came together to move Ben Zobrist to the KC Royals in exchange for Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks to the A’s. But, Rich Hill is in high demand as a short-term rental since he’s providing ace performance at a moderate price.
Does Dayton Moore have the chips to win another bidding war? Maybe not, but he certainly has the incentive to make the deal. Hill could be the ace the Kansas City Royals need to carry them through October.
What could help keep Hill’s price reasonable, however, is both his age and his track record. There’s a chance Hill could still turn into a pumpkin, which could bring his prospect price into the KC Royals range.
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