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Tim Hill represents another low-risk, low-reward signing for the 2024 White Sox.
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White Sox, Tim Hill agree to $1.8 million deal

The 33-year-old lefty reliever was non-tendered by the Padres after four seasons in San Diego

A day after bringing on Martín Maldonado on to lead a veteran catching corps, White Sox GM Chris Getz continued to tinker with the edges of his inaugural roster on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $1.8 million contract with free agent lefthander Tim Hill, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

To make room on their bedraggled-yet-full 40-man roster, the White Sox designated reliever Declan Cronin for assignment.

The soon-to-be-34-year-old Hill was non-tendered by the Padres last month after posting a career-worst 5.48 ERA in 48 appearances (44 1⁄3 IP) in 2023. He has a 4.16 mark across 320 appearances in six big league seasons — the first two of which he spent in Kansas City before moving to San Diego in exchange for Franchy Cordero in 2020. Seventeen of those appearances have come against the White Sox, in which he’s allowed seven runs (six earned) over 13 innings.

The archetypical funky lefty doesn’t have premium velocity, averaging 90.6 mph on his four-seamer in 2023. Hill runs two ticks slower on his sinker, and fastball-sinker comprises the large majority of his pitch selection. He compensates by working from a true sidearm angle, giving hitters a look they’re not used to and making it difficult to hit the ball in the air, leading to some of the league’s highest ground ball rates.

At less than $2 million guaranteed, Hill will be a low-risk project for Ethan Katz and Brian Bannister to work with early in the season. If they have some kind of success and get him back to his 2021-22 form when he had a 3.59 ERA in over 130 appearances, the investment will pay off in the form of a low- to mid-level prospect coming back from an actual contending team who may need lefty relief help come July. If nothing else, Getz is doing exactly what he said he would, stocking up on contact-oriented pitchers and hitters who require slick defense and baserunning to make things work in the majors.

We can only wait and see if they’ll pull it off.

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