December 24, 2019 / 3:20 AM / a month ago

MLB notebook: LHP Hill, wife arrested at Pats-Bills game

Free agent pitcher Rich Hill was arrested and fined, along with his wife, following an exchange with the police on Saturday before the New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills game, the Boston Globe reported Monday.

The incident began when Hill’s wife Caitlin tried to bring an oversized bag into Gillette Stadium, according to Foxborough Police chief administrator Robert Bolger, via the Globe. Making several attempts to take the bag to a different gate, then refusing to leave the grounds after being ordered to do so, she was arrested on disorderly conduct and trespassing charges.

After Rich Hill, a 39-year-old left-hander who made just 13 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019 due to injuries, tried to prevent authorities from putting his wife in a prisoner transport vehicle, he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to police.

The Norfolk district attorney’s office changed the charges to civil infractions on Monday, and Hill and his wife must each pay $500 fines, a spokesman for the district attorney indicated. Rich Hill’s felony charge of resisting arrest was dismissed prior to arraignment by the Norfolk district attorney’s office.

—The San Diego Padres signed right-hander Pierce Johnson to a two-year contract following a strong season in Japan by the former Chicago Cubs prospect.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the deal is for $5 million. The team announced it also holds an option for the 2022 season.

Johnson, 28, was 2-3 with a 1.38 ERA and a 91-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 58 2/3 inning of relief last season with the Hanshin Tigers. He had 40 holds in 58 appearances. In 2018 with the San Francisco Giants, Johnson went 3-2 with a 5.56 ERA in 37 relief appearances.

—The Houston Astros officially announced the signing of free agent catcher Martin Maldonado to a two-year contract for the 2020-21 seasons. It was reported Saturday that Maldonado had agreed to a two-year deal worth $7 million.

Houston previously acquired Maldonado via trades in 2018 and ‘19, and he was considered a key veteran who helped guide the Astros pitching staff during two postseason runs. In 68 regular-season games with Maldonado as the catcher, Astros pitchers compiled a 3.27 ERA.

His total of 12 postseason starts with Houston is tied for third most by a catcher in franchise history, trailing only Brad Ausmus (30) and Brian McCann (19).

—The New York Yankees traded right-hander Chance Adams to the Kansas City Royals for minor league shortstop Cristian Perez.

The Yankees designated Adams for assignment last week in order to vacate a roster spot for ace right-hander Gerrit Cole. New York signed Cole to a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract.

In 2019, Adams compiled an 8.53 ERA and gave up seven homers and 11 walks in 25 1/3 innings, tallying one save. Perez, 21, batted .252 with 42 RBIs in 117 games at Class-A Wilmington in 2019.

—The Cleveland Indians are signing former Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez to a one-year, $6.25 million contract, ESPN reported.

Hernandez, 29, hit .279 with 14 homers and a career-high 71 RBIs in 161 games in 2019, but he was not tendered a 2020 contract by the Phillies. He has only missed two games in the past two seasons.

Since breaking in with the Phillies in 2013, he has batted .277 with 46 home runs, 253 RBIs and 80 stolen bases in 832 games.

—Free agent catcher Francisco Cervelli agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Miami Marlins, MLB.com reported. The deal is pending a physical for the 33-year-old veteran.

Cervelli split the 2019 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves, batting .213 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games.

He is a career .269 hitter with 38 home runs and 268 RBIs in 714 games with the New York Yankees (2008-14), Pirates (2015-19) and Braves. He won a World Series with New York in 2009.

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