OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — In a matter of months, Rich Hill’s remarkable path to rejoining a rotation took him from Washington’s farm system to independent ball on Long Island and then back to Boston to start in September.

Hill moved to the right side of the rubber and adjusted his arm angle along the way – and he just landed himself a nice new contract because of those significant tweaks, which might mean little to someone outside the game.

The left-hander agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics on Friday, giving the small-budget franchise a versatile, experienced pitcher who can handle a variety of roles.

Yet they’re counting on him as a starter. Hill chose the A’s because he gets to start again.

“It was really a personal journey for myself getting back to what I always wanted to do, being a starting pitcher,” said Hill, who will be reunited with his former Boston pitching coach, Curt Young.

In another move Friday designed to help the pitching staff, Oakland acquired reliever Liam Hendriks from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-hander Jesse Chavez.

Hill took his physical in the Bay Area and the team announced the deal before he was expected to fly back to Boston in the afternoon. Hill became the second free agent to switch teams after infielder Cliff Pennington joined the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the week.

The 35-year-old lefty began the 2015 season with Washington’s Triple-A club in Syracuse before going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts and 29 innings with the Boston Red Sox as a September call-up. He had 36 strikeouts and five walks.

“Honestly, it started when I was throwing bullpens back home. I could feel the consistency, I could feel the ball coming out of my hand the way I wanted it to,” Hill said. “Every outing built off the prior outing. That was really where that came from. It was always there – it was getting the opportunity and running with it. The confidence has always been there, the ability has always been there. For me it was no surprise what happened in September.”


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