Report: Rich Hill expected to sign with a team this week

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

Rich Hill has attracted plenty of interest after his surprising finish to 2015 and Rob Bradford of reports that the veteran left-hander is expected to sign with a team this week. No word on the front-runner in the mix, but the Red Sox are not expected to retain him.

After stints with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate and the independent Long Island Ducks, Hill signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in August. He was fantastic in four starts as a September call-up, posting a 1.55 ERA with 36 strikeouts and just five walks over 29 innings. While it was a small sample with a pitcher who hadn’t started in the majors since 2009, Mike Petriello of notes that there was something tangible behind it, including the spin rate and horizontal movement on his curveball as well as his placement on the rubber.

The Padres and Rays are among the teams who have expressed interest in Hill, who turns 36 in March. There’s a chance he could end up with a multi-year deal.

Orioles option LHP Bruce Zimmermann to minors

Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Baltimore Orioles have optioned left-handers Bruce Zimmermann and Nick Vespi and reassigned infielder Lewin Díaz, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez and catcher Mark Kolozsvary to minor league camp.

The Orioles announced the moves Monday.

Baltimore’s spring training roster now has 46 players.

Zimmermann made 13 starts last season. He went 2-5 with a 5.99 ERA.

The competition for rotation spots with the Orioles has been a significant story during spring training, but after the team acquired Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson in the offseason – and with top prospect Grayson Rodriguez in the mix as well – there were a lot of pitchers Zimmermann needed to beat out.