NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Dodgers signed free-agent starting pitcherRich Hill to a three-year deal as the Winter Meetings opened on Monday, solidifying the front end of their starting rotation.The agreement is for $48 million, a source told MLB.com. The club has not confirmed the financial terms.
Hill slots behind ace Clayton Kershaw and ahead of Kenta Maeda andJulio Urias to give the Dodgers the starting-pitching quality that has enabled them to win four consecutive National League West titles. And there's now plenty of depth from which to select a fifth starter and deal in trades, as the club has Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood on the rebound from injuries, along with talented young right-handers Jose De Leon, Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, who already have Major League experience.Hill, who turns 37 in March, went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA this year, going 9-3 before Oakland traded him and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers on Aug. 1. He was on the disabled list with finger blisters when traded, and they continued to plague him the rest of the season. But when he was on the mound, he was dominant, going 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in five starts for the Dodgers.That included seven perfect innings in Miami on Sept. 10, his bid at history ending when manager Dave Roberts removed him six outs shy of a perfect game rather than risk damage to his fingers. In the postseason, Hill struggled in two starts against the Nationals (0-1, 6.43 ERA), but beat the Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series with six scoreless innings on two hits.Hill's 20 starts in 2016 were the most he'd made in a season since 2007. Although his durability is a real question, the Dodgers have the depth to allow for him to be carefully managed.Ken Gurnick / MLB.com