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Rays trade pitcher Rich Hill to the Mets

The 41-year-old lefty's 5-month career in a Rays uniform has come to an end.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Rich Hill delivers against an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Left-handed pitcher Rich Hill’s career in a Rays uniform has come to an end.

The 41-year-old, who the Rays signed just last February, is heading to the New York Mets in exchange for reliever Tommy Hunter and a minor league catcher, the team confirmed Friday.

Hill has started 19 games for Tampa Bay this season, posting a respectable 3.87 ERA across 95 1/3 innings. He’s 6-4 on the season.

The southpaw has become one of baseball’s journeymen throughout the years. He’s currently in his 17th season in the big leagues with 73 wins and a career ERA of 3.80. During his nearly two-decade career, he’s played for 10 different teams. If the trade goes through, the Mets would be team number 11.

Hunter, a journeyman himself, is in his 14th big league season which has been plagued by injuries.

He’s only appeared in four games this season, throwing 8 innings. However, he has not allowed a run during those outings.

The Mets placed the right-handed pitcher on the 10-day injury list due to “lower back pain” back on May 21, and less than a month later, on June 11, he was placed on the 60-day injury list. According to CBS Sports, he may not even pitch again this season as the “specifics of the injury remain unclear.” He’s due to be a free agent this offseason.

“Hunter is presumably included in the deal largely as a salary dump,” CBS Sports reports.

The second player coming from the Mets is reportedly catcher Matthew Dyer. Dyer is currently playing for the Mets’ low-A affiliate, batting .194 in 124 at bats this season.

Assuming the deal is cleared through the league, it would be the second significant transaction for Tampa Bay in less than 24 hours. On Thursday evening, the team announced it had acquired slugger Nelson Cruz from Minnesota to bolster the middle of the lineup.

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