Mets acquire left-hander Rich Hill from Rays

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — The pitching-thin New York Mets on Friday acquired left-hander Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays got right-hander Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer in return.

The 41-year-old Hill is 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 19 starts for the contending Rays.

“I think a lot of people in the game know the name – guy that’s been around, pitching good baseball, pitching playoff baseball,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “It’s a great fit, great acquisition. Our front office is being diligent. One of the needs we’ve talked about is our starting pitching need and this is a guy that fits right in.”

New York started the day with a four-game division lead over Philadelphia and Atlanta despite a banged-up rotation. Ace Jacob deGrom and starter David Peterson are on the injured list. Starters Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco haven’t pitched this year while recovering from injuries.

Rojas said he didn’t know yet when Hill could slot into the Mets’ rotation. New York does not have scheduled starters yet for Sunday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays nor Monday’s doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

Hill has pitched just 95 1/3 innings this year under limits imposed under the Rays’ pitching strategy. This will be his 11th big league team in a 17-season career.

The NL East leaders made the deal on the day Hill was supposed to start at Cleveland, and a week before the trade deadline. New York assumed $967,742 remaining in Hill’s $2.5 million salary.

This was the second trade by the Rays in two days. They acquired Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, taking on $5,102,151 left in the All-Star slugger’s $13 million salary.

Tampa Bay began the day one game behind Boston in the AL East.

Rays general manager Erik Neander said “there was a numbers element” to trading Hill, primarily to make room in the rotation for 21-year-old Luis Patino and the impending arrival of former All-Star Chris Archer.

Archer, who signed a $6.5 million, one-year contract on Feb. 9, is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham while recovering from right forearm tightness.

“There is a commitment to Chris, as long as he fulfills his side, to be here in August,” Neander said. “We think the world of Rich, but this gives us the chance to balance our lineup.”

The 35-year-old Hunter appeared in four games with one start for the Mets this year. He threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, three walks and striking out six. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 21 and transferred to the 60-day IL on June 11 with lower back pain.

Dyer, 23, was selected by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2020 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona. He has appeared in 36 games for the Low-A St. Lucie Mets this season, hitting .194 with 20 runs, seven home runs and 20 RBIs.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.