Whoever said you couldn’t go home again was lying, at least if your name is Aaron Hill.
Over the past couple of weeks, Hill has been linked with trade talks involving his former team, the Toronto Blue Jays, and this would be a wise move for Toronto to consider.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been spinning their wheels since Tony La Russa came aboard as head of baseball operations, but it’s not La Russa’s fault. The veteran baseball manager has considered whether he should blow up the team and start over by firing general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, and getting rid of many higher-priced players.
Hill is a second baseman by trade, and his presence in Toronto would bolster a Blue Jays infield that has been in flux. Munenori Kawasaki has experience at third base, shortstop and second, while Juan Francisco can play both corner positions. Jose Reyes, when healthy, has played short and Ryan Goins started the season at second but was sent to Triple-A Buffalo when his bat didn’t produce.
Goins is back, and Kawasaki is at second, and both players are in a platoon role. This is not what you want to have when you’re in a pennant race.
Hill was dealt to Arizona during the 2011 season as the Diamondbacks made a push for the playoffs. It worked, even if the Diamondbacks were eliminated by the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series. Hill’s production in Arizona has slipped off somewhat, and there is no guarantee it would pick back up in Toronto.
But isn’t that what the trade deadline is all about? Teams jockey for position to be buyers and sellers at the deadline.
Toronto should buy because it is in the thick of the American League East pennant race, and acquiring players like Hill or Martin Prado might help boost the team’s bats.
Arizona should sell because there are too many teams in the National League West far ahead of the Diamondbacks at this point. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are head over heels the best teams in the division, and everyone else is staring up at them.
The Hill-to-Toronto rumors were hot as July started. It’s time they got hotter.