Rich Hill was a beloved piece of the Dodgers for a few seasons running and was one of their most consistent playoff performers. Now, he is gone. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins announced that they inked the soon to be 40-year-old left-hander to a one-year deal worth $3 million, with incentives to reach up to $12.5 million. This represents the second key departure from the Dodgers’ starting rotation as Hyun-Jin Ryu fled Los Angeles to Canada for the Blue Jays.
The departure of Rich Hill is a big one in many ways. For a team that struggles in the postseason, they have lost consistency. For a team with what suddenly seems like a young, inexperienced rotation, they lost their anchor. For a team that possesses one of the most laid back rosters in the sport, they lost a little bit of psycho.
The Dodgers will be ushering in a new era for their staff. The rotational ace keys have been handed to right-hander Walker Buehler with Clayton Kershaw still representing a formidable force as a number-two starter. The club, though, will be forced to rely on top prospects in the back end of their rotation to pick up the slack. It is a very tall ask, but if anyone can get it done, it is the trio of 20-somethings in addition to Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda that can get it done.
Dustin May looks like a budding ace with a feel not too dissimilar from the one fans received when watching Walker Buehler for the first time. Tony Gonsolin also seems poised to be an excellent mid-rotation contributor at the very least. Julio Urias now appears fully healthy and ready to be a rotation piece full-time for the first time in his career. Josiah Gray might even make an appearance this season.
The Dodgers are in good hands in the future, but as currently constructed, they are probably over-relying on youth. However, they are nonetheless in excellent shape.