Mets reportedly finalizing trade for Rays veteran Rich Hill

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The Mets, in desperate need of starting pitching, are reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire veteran lefty Rich Hill, according to multiple reports.

Hill, a 17-year veteran who had a very brief stint with the Yankees back in 2014, got off to a fantastic start with the Rays this season, pitching to a 3.05 ERA through his first 12 starts. In an eight-start stretch from April 26 to June 5, he held a 0.99 ERA, allowing just five runs in 45.2 innings of work.

New York is reportedly sending Tommy Hunter and Double-A catcher Matt Dyer to Tampa in return. Hunter has pitched just eight innings for the Mets this season and has been dealing with a back injury.

It has been more of a grind for the 41-year-old of late, pitching to a 5.40 ERA over his last seven starts. Facing the Braves in his most recent start on Sunday, Hill allowed three runs and six hits over four innings of work. It was the eighth time in his last nine outings that he did not go more than five innings.

The lefty has carved out a long big-league career despite not having much in the velocity department. His average fastball of 88 mph this season is in the bottom four percent in all of baseball, but his average spin rate on his fastball and curveball are both well above league average, though his average rpm dropped by nearly 250 from May to June.

The Mets have said starting pitching will be their top priority ahead of the trade deadline, as Jacob deGrom, David Peterson, Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Carrasco, Joey Lucchesi, Corey Oswalt and Robert Stock are all on the IL.

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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