Aaron Hill set to come off the disabled list Friday

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Out since the second game of the season with a hamstring injury, Aaron Hill is expected to return from the disabled list Friday against the Rays. Hill is skipping the usual minor league rehab assignment route, instead staying behind at the Blue Jays’ spring training complex to rehab in Florida.
Picked by many to finish last in the AL East, the Blue Jays have jumped out to a surprising 9-7 start despite being without Hill, who hit .286 with 36 homers and 108 RBIs last season to make his first All-Star team.
Toronto has predictably gotten terrible production from second base fill-ins John McDonald and Mike McCoy, but Vernon Wells, Alex Gonzalez, and the rest of the lineup have picked up the slack as the Blue Jays lead the league in both homers and doubles while ranking fifth in runs per game.
No word yet on who will be dropped from the 25-man roster to make room for Hill’s return, but third baseman Edwin Encarnacion has missed seven straight games with a shoulder injury and finally putting him on the DL would seemingly be an easy solution. Sending down McCoy is another option.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.