Desperate for starting pitching, the injury-plagued Mets are closing in on a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays for veteran left-handed starter Rich Hill.
Multiple reports indicate that the Mets and Rays are close to agreement on a trade that would bring the 41-year-old southpaw from Tampa Bay to Flushing. The Mets would send veteran reliever Tommy Hunter and minor-league catching prospect Matt Dyer to the Rays, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Hill has had a solid 2021 campaign for the Rays, going 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA, with 91 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched and a 1.17 WHIP. He’s played with 10 different teams in his 17-year career, including a brief stint with the Yankees back in 2014.
Hill gives the Mets an immediate boost in their rotation, which has been hit hard by injury. Ace Jacob deGrom and left-hander David Peterson are both on the injured list; the team currently has just three healthy starters in Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker and rookie Tylor Megill.
The deal comes just before another critical point in the season, as going into Friday, the Mets did not have anyone penciled in to make Sunday’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays, or for both halves of Monday’s doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves.
Going from one pennant contender to another, Hill figures to fill one of those starts once the trade is finalized.
It could also be the start of a very busy week for the Mets as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. The Mets are rumored to be in the hunt for additional pitching help, as they’ve been tied in trade rumors with the Minnesota Twins for Jose Berrios and the Texas Rangers for Kyle Gibson.
The rumor mill also has been churning out speculation that the Mets could also be in the market for third-baseman Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs.