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Who Will Sign Shawn Hill?

When the Nationals pulled the trigger on Wednesday's surprising Joe Beimel signing, someone had to go. As Chico reported yesterday, when the guy to go became Shawn Hill, a lot of people were surprised or upset, not least of all Nationals manager Manny Acta himself.

That says a lot about Hill, both in terms of his personality and his ability, if he's ever healthy. Unfortunately, with his ongoing arm trouble, there's serious question about when that day might ever come. I certainly have no idea when it'll get here, but when it does, someone will take a chance on him.

With that in mind, I thought we'd see where people think he might end up. A number of locations could make sense, for a variety of reasons. Oakland could work because Billy Beane loves talent he can sign for cheap. Hill fits both those conditions, and if he was successful in AAA he might be able to fill in for whichever starter Beane decides to ship away at the trade deadline (it really does seem like there's always one, doesn't it?). Despite adding three new starters in the offseason, the Braves also added a lot of age. Getting a guy like Hill in the minor leagues ready to move up and join Jair Jurrjens would mollify some of those concerns. The Orioles have a plethora of young talent, but they could also provide an easy, in-region outlet in which Hill could try to resurrect his career. And we know the Pirates are always looking for more starting pitching, even if they did feel comfortable optioning Tom Gorzelanny to AAA on Wednesday.

And what about the Mariners and Rangers out west? Both needs arms, and Hill has one of those, if he can keep it healthy. Sure, you can make an argument for any number of teams, so please do. Where do you think Hill will end up?

By Cameron Smith  |  March 19, 2009; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  Nationals  
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You need to add as an option to your poll that the Nationals sign Hill to a minor league deal. After a certain amount of time, maybe measured in days rather than weeks, they will be free to do that, just as they were free to sign Chad Cordero if they'd wanted to. And I could easily see that happening, because Hill's not ready to pitch now. Any other team that might want him won't sign him to amjor league deal if he can't pitch now. They'd only offer him a minor league deal.

Once he's signed to a minor league deal, he can rehab at his own pace for however long it might take. I see no reason that the Nats wouldn't be willing to have him do that in their system.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 19, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Goodness, the obvious team is the Red Sox. They have a great rep with fixing injured pitchers and have signed Penny, Smoltz, Saito this year already. Both Penny and Smoltz said that was a major factor in deciding where they went. If he is waived through the majors (very likely), then it is his choice. A two way contract makes a lot of sense for him. Also, this might make the Red Sox more comfortable in giving up a Bowden or a Buchholz in a deal with Texas or possibly AZ for a young catcher. Tell me what is wrong with my reasoning?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

By a two-way contract, I mean a minor league contract that says you are paid X if you are in the minors and Y if you are in the majors. Assign him to Pawtucket, or Lowell, and he could be within commuting distance of Fenway.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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