Former Yankees pitcher ponders 2024 mid-season comeback

Former Yankees pitcher Rich Hill throws during a game between San Diego Padres against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, in Phoenix.

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Ex-New York Yankees and former New York Mets pitcher, Rich Hill, is contemplating a return to Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2024 season, but with a unique twist—he’s considering a mid-season comeback. As he approaches his 20th season as a veteran southpaw on the mound, Hill is taking a pragmatic approach to his return to the baseball diamond, expressing a preference for joining a team during the summer months.

At the age of 43, Rich Hill currently holds the distinction of being the oldest active player in MLB. In 2023, he showcased his enduring passion for the game, splitting his time between two teams—the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres. Over the course of 32 appearances, Hill posted a combined ERA of 5.41. His journey during the 2023 season began when the Pirates signed him to a one-year, $8 million contract. However, shortly before the trade deadline, Hill found himself donning the uniform of his 13th MLB team, the San Diego Padres, as part of a midseason trade.

Who is Rich Hill?

Rich Hill pitching for the Yankees on Sept. 2, 2014.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Rich Hill‘s storied career has featured several stints in the vibrant baseball landscape of New York. In 2014, he inked a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees, where he made a memorable impact by delivering standout performances in 14 big-league games, amassing an impressive 1.69 ERA. This stint with the Yankees provided a glimpse of Hill’s exceptional talent on the mound.

Following his time with the Yankees, Hill embarked on another New York adventure, this time with the New York Mets. In 2021, he was acquired by the Mets in a trade that sent Tommy Hunter to the Tampa Bay Rays. As a member of the Mets, Hill showcased his versatility, featuring in 13 games, including 12 starts, and achieving a record of 1-4 with a commendable 3.84 ERA. His contributions to the Mets were instrumental in bolstering their pitching rotation.

Rich Hill’s baseball journey also saw him return to the Boston Red Sox in 2022 for the fourth time in his career. Under a one-year contract, Hill made 26 starts and compiled a record of 8-7 with a 4.27 ERA. His performance demonstrated that even after two decades in the MLB, he remained a reliable asset for any team he joined.

Up next

As Hill contemplates his 2024 return, his decision to aim for a mid-season comeback underscores his commitment to the game, combined with a realistic understanding of his body’s capabilities. For fans of the Yankees, Mets, and baseball enthusiasts alike, the prospect of witnessing the veteran left-handed pitcher back in action brings excitement and anticipation for what could be another remarkable chapter in Rich Hill’s enduring baseball journey.

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