Chicago Cubs: Could another familiar face in Rich Hill return to Chicago?

May 23, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

With the MLB Trade Deadline set for the end of July, teams are searching high and low for new pieces to their puzzle. They are either rebuilding or adding to their postseason bound roster in hopes of bringing home a World Series championship.

So who would the Chicago Cubs be looking at? There’s a handful of guys out there who will more than likely be moved before the waiver period which begins in August. Last year, the Cubs acquired Austin Jackson and Fernando Rodney from the Seattle Mariners.

Both men contributed to their postseason run and have found new homes in 2016. And honestly, this is the best time of the year for baseball fans. Which player is your team looking to acquire and who will you be giving up in return?

Looking back on a trade between the Cubs and Oakland Athletics a few years ago involving Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija.

More from Chicago Cubs Rumors

In return for both right-handers, Billy Beane was willing to part ways with top prospects Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily. Well, not so much Straily as he was later dealt to the Houston Astros for Dexter Fowler.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Beane later followed up with another trade, this time sending outfielder Chris Coghlan out to the West Coast in exchange for pitcher Aaron Brooks.

In 2016, with the Chicago Cubs pushing to make the postseason for the second consecutive season, these two front offices could be in touch once again. On the block will be 36-year-old Rich Hill who was drafted by the Cubs back in 2002.

Hill made his big league debut for the North Siders on June 15, 2005, and ended that season with a whopping 9.13 earned run average in 10 appearances. Four of which were starts.

After moving between the bullpen and starting rotation over the first two years of his career, Hill finally found himself in the starting five and picked up a career-high 32 starts in 2007. The young southpaw finally found his groove.

In 195 major league innings, which just so happens to still sit as a career-high as well, Hill was tagged for 85 earned runs on 170 hits, 27 home runs but he finished with an 183/63 K/BB ratio and 11-8 record. Not too bad if you ask me.

More from Cubbies Crib

All was well until he found himself having trouble hitting his marks which resulted in him dropping from Triple-A down to Single-A with the Daytona Cubs. Rough seeing such a talented pitcher drop so suddenly in his young career. But he was still receiving interest from other teams.

In 2009, the Cubs traded Hill to the Baltimore Orioles. Things continued to go downhill for Rich as he found himself inking a contract with his third big league team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Then followed the Boston Red Sox twice, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and now, the Oakland Athletics.

Hill agreed to a one-year deal worth $6 million and was bumped from No. 5 to Opening Night starter on the South Side of Chicago. Since then, he carries an impressive 7-3 record, 2.18 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 65/21 in 57 2/3 innings.

With Hill nearing his 40s and his salary being so low, he could possibly become the cheapest option for the Cubs if they refuse to get rid of some top prospects in exchange for an arm. Maybe something along the lines of Brad Markey, Josh Conway, Mark Zagunis or even Bryan Hudson could be involved in a three-man trade.

Next: Hendricks goes the distance in 4-1 win

Yes, Jason Hammel is pitching exceptionally well and Kyle Hendricks put together his second career complete game. But there’s nothing wrong with acquiring another arm who is more than capable than either chewing up a bunch of innings or making an emergency start.

Joe Maddon could pick between Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill, Travis Wood, Adam Warren and Rich Hill when needed.