Rich Hill signed a three-year, $48 million contract on Monday with the Dodgers, completing a whirlwind two years for the veteran pitcher.
Hill, a talented pitcher haunted by injuries that never allowed him to reach his full potential, was the final player cut from the Nationals’ roster after spring training in 2015. Instead of giving up on his life-long dream of playing in the Major Leagues and a chance for a large payday, Hill signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent league to keep his career alive.
A solid performance with the Ducks resulted in the Boston Red Sox purchasing the contract of the veteran pitcher and a call up to the big league club.
Hill would then pitch well enough with the Red Sox to earn a one-year, $6 million deal with the frugal Oakland Athletics, who were looking for arms to round out their starting rotation.
A former fourth round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2002 amateur draft, Hill’s life was altered forever in August of the 2016 season when the Dodgers acquired the southpaw to help an injury depleted pitching staff make a run for the playoffs.
In six starts with the Dodgers, Hill recorded a 3-2 record with an impressive 1.83 ERA. He was instrumental in the team’s playoff run, including a 1.31 ERA in three playoff games for Los Angeles.
Hill is a feel good story and a testament to hard work, and the idea of never giving up on his dream. He now will earn life-changing money for his family, and will likely be a key cog for the Dodgers to repeat as NL West champions.