Today, it was announced the Chicago Cubs dealt left-handed pitcher Rich Hill to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named. In the Orioles' organization, Hill will be reunited with pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who previously worked in the Cubs' minor league system.
After struggling early in his career, Hill had a breakout season in 2007, going 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA. He struggled in April 2008, winning only one of five starts with four no decisions. He walked 18 batters in 19 2/3 innings, and was optioned to Triple-A. Hill was out of minor league options, and if he did not make the 2009 major league club, he would have had to clear waivers to stay with the Cubs.
Cubs' general manager Jim Hendry, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, and other members of the Cubs' organization found it difficult to diagnose Hill's struggles. After spending the rest of 2008 in the minors, Hill was sent to play Winter League ball in Venezuela, and walked 23 batters in 21 innings. After this performance, Cubs' management thought it would be difficult to retain Hill.