Pittsburgh Pirates: Players Who Were Traded At The Right Time

The Pirates traded these former veterans right before they took a dip in production.
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Rich Hill

The other player that was included alongside Choi was Rich Hill. Hill entered the 2023 season as one of the oldest players in baseball. Brought in as a back-of-the-rotation veteran to help stabilize an overall young group, Hill did just that for the Pirates, providing some solid outings and a decent amount of innings.

Hill pitched 119 frames for the Bucs, working to a 4.76 ERA, 4.43 FIP, and 1.48 WHIP. Hill only had a 19.6% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate, but his 1.13 HR/9 was slightly better than the league average. Overall, these numbers aren’t all that impressive. Funnily enough, there was only really one major blemish during his time with the Pirates, and that was Opening Day, where he allowed seven earned runs on three home runs in just four innings of work. Hill owned a much cleaner 4.38 ERA and 4.06 FIP outside this game.

The Padres acquired Hill to try and reinforce the back of their starting rotation, and things didn’t go as planned. Hill allowed 23 earned runs in his first 19.1 innings as a member of the Friars. He gave up as many home runs as walks, with eight each, while only sitting down 16 on strikes. Hill would get moved to the bullpen full-time in mid-September, but the damage had already been done.

Sure, Hill was never considered an ace when either the Pirates or Padres acquired him, but his struggles in August and September last season were completely unexpected. The Padres even designated Hill for assignment near the end of August in an attempt to shed his remaining salary. But no team claimed him and he concluded the one year contract the Pirates signed with him with the Padres.