PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 17: Rich Hill #44 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

MLB’s Oldest Player Wants Fourth Stint With Former Team

The Boston Red Sox were dealt a brutal blow earlier this week, when new ace Lucas Giolito suffered a partially torn UCL and flexor strain that will likely sideline him for the season.

On the bright side for Boston, another pitcher who's extremely well-versed with their organization is interested in yet another reunion — and they can sign him for something close to a senior discount. 

During a Wednesday appearance on the Red Sox radio broadcast, current free agent Rich Hill — who spent all of last season as the MLB's oldest active player, and who will be turning 44 on Monday — was asked whether he'd like to pitch for Boston this season.

"I mean, yeah, definitely interested." Hill responded. "Especially from the players standpoint."

If the Red Sox were to sign Hill, it would mark his fourth tenure with the team across his 19-season MLB career. Hill pitched three seasons out of Boston's bullpen from 2010-12, made four starts for Boston in 2015, and started 26 games for them in 2022.

Of course, signing a soon to be 44-year-old pitcher who produced a 8-14 record and 5.41 ERA last season isn't an ideal replacement for Giolito, who Boston brought in to be their new ace after losing Chris Sale to the Braves this offseason. 

Yet, Hill — who has pitched for 13 different MLB teams, which is one short of the MLB record — would surely be willing to sign at a discounted rate, as he is currently a free agent. 

Hill could also serve as a mentor for the (much) younger pitchers on Boston's pitching staff, like Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck. 

Although Hill would clearly love another run with the Red Sox, Red Sox president of baseball operations Craig Breslow likes the arms he already has.

When Breslow spoke with with Boston's NESN broadcast during Tuesday's spring training game, he said, "We're still trying to process exactly what we have in front of us, and what kind of timeline we're dealing with.

"I think we feel good about the group that we have here, and we'll give them every chance to grab hold of rotation spots and come together as a staff."

If Hill was to sign with the Red Sox or anywhere else, he would be the MLB's only active player who was born in 1980 — although that isn't a milestone Boston seems keen to help him reach.

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