The Nationals have agreed to terms with left-hander Rich Hill on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Hill, who turns 35 next month, bounced around three different organizations last year and mostly pitched in the minors. The sidearmer had a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances between the Angels and Yankees and posted a 2.93 ERA in 29 appearances at the Triple-A level with New York and Boston. Hill pitched with the Indians in 2013 and struggled to the tune of a 6.28 ERA and 51/29 K/BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings.
Hill could compete for a job as a left-handed specialist this spring. He has held left-handed batters to a .216 batting average in his career.
The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.
Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.
Here’s how it went:
This was confirmed by other reporters:
To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.
But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.
We live in interesting times.