Rich Hill has spent all season at Triple-A and now the Red Sox have traded him for cash considerations the Angels, who immediately called up the left-handed reliever.
Control problems have plagued Hill and his 6.28 ERA for the Indians last season was very ugly, but he racked up 51 strikeouts in 39 innings and held left-handed hitters to a .238 batting average.
This season at Triple-A for the Red Sox he posted a 3.23 ERA and 45/17 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, holding opponents to a .206 batting average and zero homers. In other words, if Hill throws strikes he’s capable of being a very useful middle reliever or southpaw specialist for the Angels.
Earlier this afternoon Boston dumped another left-hander, releasing veteran Chris Capuano.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.