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MLB’s oldest player ‘definitely interested’ in returning to Red Sox

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Free-agent pitcher Rich Hill arrived Tuesday night at Boston Red Sox spring training.

During an in-game appearance on the team’s radio broadcast of Tuesday’s spring training contest against the Minnesota Twins, the southpaw said he’d “definitely” be interested in returning to his former club.

A native of Boston, Hill has already had three separate stints with the Red Sox across his 19 big-league seasons. He pitched three seasons out of the team’s bullpen from 2010-12, made four appearances (all starts) with Boston in 2015 and was in the middle of the squad’s rotation in 2022 with 26 starts.

Hill signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates in December 2022.

The University of Michigan product was traded to the San Diego Padres last August, landing him with his 13th different team (one away from the MLB record.)

Hill spent last season as the league’s oldest player. With the recent retirement of seven-time All-Star Nelson Cruz, he has a chance to be the only person in the big leagues this season born in 1980. St. Louis Cardinals longtime pitcher Adam Wainwright (born in 1981) also retired over the offseason.

The soft-tossing journeyman will celebrate his 44th birthday on Sunday.

Hill, who debuted with the Chicago Cubs in June 2005, went 8-7 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.30 WHIP during his third run with the Red Sox in 2022.

He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 36th round of the 1999 MLB Draft and by the Anaheim Angels in the seventh round in 2001 but declined to sign. Hill finally inked a deal with the Cubs after being a fourth-round selection in 2002.

While signing a pitcher in their mid-40s, who went 8-14 with a 5.41 ERA last season, may make little sense on paper, Boston desperately needs arms.

The team was set to enter the campaign with an already shaky rotation before Tuesday’s crushing news that potential Opening Day starter Lucas Giolito suffered a potentially season-ending elbow injury.

Hill may not be the pitcher he was 10 or even 20 years ago, but many Red Sox fans would probably welcome him.

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