Boston Red Sox: Rich Hill open to a return

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 06: Rich Hill #44 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the game at Target Field on September 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 10-8. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 06: Rich Hill #44 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the game at Target Field on September 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 10-8. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Despite his stated desire to play for a World Series contending team, Rich Hill expressed interest in returning to the Boston Red Sox.

The Boston Red Sox had to endure a miserable 2020 campaign. Due to a myriad of injuries to their pitching staff, and a desire to cut costs, the Red Sox finished with a 24-36 record. Not only were they the fourth worst team in the majors, but they finished in the bottom of the AL East.

However, that record is not a deterrent for Rich Hill. The free agent pitcher has expressed his desire to sign with a team that can win the World Series, especially as he has not been a part of the Fall Classic at any point in his career. And yet, Hill is open to making a return to the Red Sox for the 2021 season.

Theoretically, the Red Sox could provide Hill with that opportunity. Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez will be returning to the rotation, providing a major boost without Boston needing to enter the free agent market. If the lineup can rebound, the Red Sox could have a dangerous offense.

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The Red Sox still have plenty of issues that need to be addressed. They need to figure out who their second baseman will be, especially now that Dustin Pedroia has faced the inevitable. The bullpen was a disaster last season, and needs a complete overhaul. This is easier said than done.

However, it is reasonable to expect that the Red Sox will be a competitive team in 2021. Any previous spending restrictions may be relaxed, even in the wake of the pandemic. It will take work, and possibly some luck in a competitive AL East, but the Red Sox could take another run at the postseason next year.

And that is really all that Hill wants. He had another solid showing in 2020, posting a 3.03 ERA and a 1.164 WHiP over his 38.2 innings, although his walk rate increased and his strikeouts decreased. But he could still be a solid back of the rotation arm for a contending team, one that could far outpitch his contract when he is healthy and on the mound.

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Rich Hill wants to reach the World Series for the first time in his career. If the Boston Red Sox can return to form, they could make that a reality if he returns.