White Sox add reliever Hill on one-year deal

December 28th, 2023

The White Sox continued to retool their roster on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $1.8 million deal with veteran left-handed reliever . Chicago designated right-hander Declan Cronin for assignment in a corresponding move. 

Hill, 33, spent the past four seasons with the Padres, where he posted a 4.18 ERA in 170 innings with one save. He’s coming off the worst statistical season of his career, when he tallied a 5.48 ERA in 44 1/3 innings before undergoing season-ending finger surgery at the end of September. The Padres non-tendered him at the end of the season. The left-hander has held lefty batters to a .223 average in his career, and has thrown five scoreless postseason innings. He opened his career by tossing 45 2/3 innings with the Royals in 2018.

While he doesn’t throw hard -- he finished last season in the 6th percentile in fastball velocity – he had a barrel rate of 5.1 percent and had a ground ball rate of 63.5 percent. Hill’s profile fits into the plans of general manager Chris Getz and manager Pedro Grifol to build a stronger team defensively in ‘24.

Hill is Chicago's second veteran addition this week, as they agreed to a one-year deal with catcher Martín Maldonado on Wednesday -- which has yet to be announced by the team. The White Sox also signed reigning Korea Baseball Organization MVP Erick Fedde to a contract earlier this offseason and acquired catcher Max Stassi in a trade with the Braves.

Getz’s first offseason as general manager began with the trade of veteran left-hander Aaron Bummer to the Braves for a five-player return including right-hander Mike Soroka, left-hander Jared Schuster and infielder Nicky Lopez. Hill’s sidearming style gives the White Sox a different look from the left side, currently joining fellow southpaws Garrett Crochet, Tanner Banks, Sammy Peralta and Rule 5 acquisition Shane Drohan on the 40-man roster, which is at 40. 

Jake Eder also is on the 40-man, but targeted as a starter. Crochet could eventually figure into the White Sox starting rotation plans as well.