Thirteen-year veteran infielder Aaron Hill has finally found a new contract, but it is not with a major league club. Hill has latched on with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League, where he will attempt to showcase his skills with the hopes of landing a contract with a major league organization.
In what has proven to be one of the strangest offseasons in recent memory, many notable players were unable to secure major league jobs, some despite rather strong seasons. Unfortunately for Hill, 2017 was not a year to remember, as he struggled with injuries and slashed just .132/.250/.485 over 80 plate appearances with the San Francisco Giants.
Hill, now 36, has accumulated 23.7 wins above replacement in his career while bringing home two Silver Slugger awards, an All-Star appearance, and a pair of top-30 MVP finishes. Furthermore, had been an effective major league regular as recently as the first half of the 2016 season with the Milwaukee Brewers, when he slashed .283/.359/.421.
This could be an interesting situation to monitor. While we frequently see former major leaguers sign in the independent and foreign leagues, it’s considerably less frequent to see a very well-established player head over with the to showcase their skills in the hopes of landing a major league offer. It is somewhat reminiscent of when a 35-year old Rich Hill signed with the Long Island Ducks, or when Scott Kazmir signed on with the Sugar Land Skeeters. Both scenarios turned out incredibly fruitful, and while this one is not a guarantee, it could be interesting.