Despite the need, Brewers should stay away from this free agent starting pitcher

The Brewers don't need to risk seeing if another starter can keep defying Father Time
Sep 12, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Rich Hill (41) throws
Sep 12, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Rich Hill (41) throws / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation was always going to be a question mark coming into 2024. Just over a month into the season, not much has change to change that sentiment. In fact, it may now be even stronger.

Three of the starters that began the season with the Brewers are currently absent from the rotation. Wade Miley suffered a heartbreaking, season-ending arm injury, Jakob Junis landed on the injured list after one start and then had his stay extended by an additional freak injury, and DL Hall joined the two on the IL not long ago.

Led by ace Freddy Peralta, the rotation has held up just okay so far this season. The combined starters' ERA of 4.24 ranked 18th in MLB coming into Wednesday's games, though it has risen as days have gone by.

Even with Junis and Hall eventually returning, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Brewers look for rotation help. Internal options at the moment may be scarce, though, as pitching prospect Robert Gasser is likely to see an MLB debut soon but rotation hopefuls Aaron Ashby and Carlos Rodriguez have both struggled at Triple-A Nashville in 2024.

That leaves external options, which include the free agent market. While there aren't a ton of options available, there are some that exist. One in particular has been a familiar name to baseball fans for quite some time and reportedly wants to sign with a team, but does that mean the Brewers should check in?

On the contrary, the Brewers should stay away from free agent starting pitcher Rich Hill.

Rich hill is the absolute model of longevity. The veteran (which may be an understatement) has played in 19 seasons and has played for 13 different MLB teams. He began his career mostly as a starter, converted to reliever, and then back to starter and has a career 4.01 ERA in 382 appearances.

Did I mention that he's 44 years old?

That's right, Hill was less than three months away from being born in the 1970s and was actually originally drafted in the 1990s out of high school (Cincinnati Reds, 1999). And yet, Hill has largely defied Father Time, making 32 appearances in both 2021 and 2023 while making 26 in between those seasons in 2022.

He did not end up latching on with a team for the 2024 season, but that reportedly wasn't for lack of opportunity. In an interview with Red Sox beat writer Ian Browne, Hill mentioned that he had offers on the table from three teams, though he held off to coach his son's Little League team. Hill also mentioned that he would like to play for a team later this season.

It would be awesome to see Hill play in season number 20, but the Brewers should let another team take on that responsibility. While the elder statesman has continued to make appearances, his numbers have deteriorated with age. His ERA has risen every year since 2019, topping out at 5.41 last year, which was his highest since 2013.

The Brewers could also use a starter that could eat innings and Hill might not help in that regard. He averaged almost exactly five innings per start last season and the likelihood of that being any higher after not even beginning the season on a roster would be extremely low.

If he does play this year, Hill will be one of the top feel good stories of 2024. For Milwaukee, they should find the solution to their rotation problem elsewhere.