Yesterday, Jon Heyman Tweeted:
D-backs trying to trade aaron hill, but in market stocked with better (kendrick, desmond, Rollins, etc) -- very tall task— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 24, 2016
Yes, at the present time, it's hard to see a team opting to trade for Hill over the available free agents mentioned - perhaps Jimmy Rollins less so, but Howie Kendrick and Ian Desmond are both likely to perform significantly better than Aaron Hill in 2016. In order to compete there, the Diamondbacks would likely have to eat the majority, and quite possibly the vast majority, of the $12 million Hill is due to earn in 2016. For some inexplicable reason, there are just not very many suitors for a player earning that much money, who'll turn 34 come Opening Day, and who was worth a total of -1.5 bWAR over the past two seasons.
Hill does have some advantages, not least that he would not cost the team acquiring him a draft pick, unlike Desmond and Kendrick (Rollins didn't get a qualifying offer). But it seems the most likely route involves a trade like the one discussed with the Reds earlier involving Hill for their overpaid and under-performing 2B, Brandon Phillips. However, that appears to have died on the vine after Phillips demanded an extension in order to waive his no-trade clause. That was in regard to the Washington Nationals, but there's no reason to think he'd do otherwise with regard to a move to Arizona, and the team has, understandably, no interest in such an extension.
Still, it does perhaps give the blueprint for a deal: exchanging bad contracts with a team that has need of a second baseman, and can offer something similar in an area which could be more useful for the Diamondbacks. A couple of other possibilities have been thrown around, though I make absolutely no claims for plausibility.
- To the Angels for C.J. Wilson. The 35-year-old Wilson wasn't terrible last season, going 8-8 with a 3.89 ERA. That ERA+ of 96 wouldn't be awful as the fifth member of the Diamondbacks rotation this year, but Wilson is due a monstrous $20 million in 2016, so would cost the team $8 million more than Hill.
- To the Pirates as an injury replacement for Jung-Ho Kang. Kang was taken out in mid-September after suffering a broken left leg and torn knee ligament, on a slide into second by the Cubs' Chris Coghlan. His status for next season remains uncertain - recent reports have Kang perhaps able to return in late April, but as he hasn't even resumed baseball activities at this point, that very much up in the air.
It's hard to be sure who else might be interested. The Phillies, Brewers and Braves are the National League teams who were most in need of an upgrade there, based on their 2015 performance, while the White Sox, Royals and Yankees occupy the same position in the National League. [Moves made during the offseason may, of course, now have rendered those needs obsolete]. So, any thoughts on who could use a veteran clubhouse presence like Hill?