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Rich Hill Says He Turned Down 3 MLB Contract Offers, Still Eyeing 2024 Return | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Written by on May 8, 2024

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Free agent left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, a 19-year MLB veteran, told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he turned down three offers to return to the bigs so he could coach his 12-year-old son Brice’s Little League team this spring.

“Yeah, a lot. Pretty much everything,” the 44-year-old Hill told Browne when asked how much that played a factor in him staying home for now.

“I’ve only seen Brice play four games over the last three years or whatever. Getting the opportunity, knowing that it was his last year of Little League, that’s something that you can’t get back.”

Hill is the pitching coach and first base coach for the Milton (Massachusetts) Reds. Hill notably grew up in Milton and played in the same Little League.

“We’ve had great moments we’ve been able to share,” Hill told Browne for the Red Sox Beat newsletter.

“On my side, too, understanding that 12 years old is 12 years old. I think that’s extremely important to understand, from not just the aspect of the dad but the coaching side. Just the teachable moments that come up are extremely important. So watching him be able to play and get that opportunity, this is the reason why I stayed home.”

Hill does double duty as the Reds’ pitching and first base coach.

Last season, Hill went 8-14 with a 5.41 ERA (1.52 WHIP), striking out 129 batters in 146.1 innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres. He fared far better in Pittsburgh (7-10, 4.76 ERA) than San Diego (1-4, 8.23 ERA) after an August 1 trade sent him to Southern California.

“It was like three quarters of a season,” Hill said per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune in October, “and then a quarter of the season was a complete disaster.”

Hill still expressed interest in playing in 2024, though, albeit on a truncated schedule so he could coach Little League.

“I have to talk to my family and see where we’re at,” he said, per Acee.

“But I would love to watch my son play Little League, and I can’t get that back. He’s gonna be 12, so it’s his last year. I’ve been fortunate enough to play this game for a long time and have a kind of position to be in that I’ve worked for and worked hard to be in and feel fortunate to be able to see that come to fruition, even through injuries and everything.”

Hill also noted his age and mileage regarding the possibility of a full campaign.

“I’m also realistic,” Hill said, per Acee. “I have a pretty good gauge and a monitor on my body. And I think half a season is much more palatable than a full season.”

Still, Hill is preparing to make a return after his son’s Little League season is up.

“I’ve been working out and throwing,” Hill told Browne. “I’m continuing to progress and get ready for when that opportunity comes around to go and pitch. The idea is to be ready when that time comes.”

Hill, who has pitched for 13 MLB teams, is 90-73 lifetime with a 4.01 ERA and 1,423 strikeouts.

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