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Rich Hill Re-Signs with Los Angeles Dodgers

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts while taking on the Chicago Cubs in game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Free-agent pitcher Rich Hill was widely regarded as a top starting pitcher on the market and decided to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

The Dodgers announced they had re-signed Hill to a three-year contract on Monday, with Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reporting the deal was worth $48 million.

Hill, 36, is considered by most as the top starting pitcher on the open market. He went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA and 1.00 WHIP last season with the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. 

That marked by far the best performance of Hill's career. An oft-injured journeyman who could never string together consecutive good seasons, Hill ascended to late-prime stardom during a short stint with the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and carried it over to last season.

Blister issues limited him to 20 starts and often kept his appearances relatively short, but Hill was one of baseball's most effective pitchers in 2016. He struck out 10.52 batters per nine innings while only walking 2.69, setting a number of full-season career bests in the process.

Hill previously pitched for the Yankees in 2014, posting a 1.69 ERA in 14 appearances as a left-handed relief specialist. Many former teammates have vouched for Hill's work ethic after he bounced back from a career that seemed dead in the water.

"He's definitely a young 36-year-old," free-agent designated hitter Billy Butler, then with the Yankees, told Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media in October. "He's definitely going to be one of the top free-agent arms and a great addition to any team—especially a playoff team."

Hill has only thrown 610.1 major league innings. Sonny Gray, nine years Hill's junior, has only thrown 2.1 fewer innings. 

While we're not accounting for minor league stints, Hill is a relatively fresh 36-year-old. He's also got a significant history of arm issues and missed 12-13 starts during his best career year. 

                            

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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