Pirates One of Two Teams Pursuing Derek Holland, Expressing Interest in Daniel Hudson

Coming into the winter meetings, we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates had interest in signing left-handed starter Derek Holland, who has spent the last eight seasons with the Texas Rangers. The Pirates were scheduled to meet with his representatives this week, which happened yesterday according to reports. According to Evan Grant, who covers the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News, the market now for Holland appears to be the Chicago White Sox and the Pirates. More teams were looking at him recently, with the Boston Red Sox being one of them. Boston just acquired Chris Sale from the White Sox and Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, so they might be out on Holland now.

Holland had a 4.35 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 790 strikeouts in 985 innings with the Rangers. He threw 213 innings during the 2013 season, then only 203 inning total over the last three seasons combined. In 20 starts and two relief appearances in 2016, he had 4.95 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 107.1 innings.

In other pitching news, Bill Brink is reporting that the Pirates are one of the teams that have expressed interest in right-handed pitcher Daniel Hudson. The number might be lower by now, but earlier this week, it was reported that 16 teams showed some type of interest in Hudson. Back in 2011, he was a 24-year-old starter, who posted a 3.49 ERA in 222 innings with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He then had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and then again in 2013, shortly after he began his return. Since then, Hudson has pitched in relief and struggled for the most part. In 2016, he posted a 5.22 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 60.1 innings over 70 appearances.

  • I’m going to get real worried if Leo doesn’t show up real soon insulting posters and calling them stupid for panning these potential moves. That’s when I know things are BAD.

  • In all seriousness, though, why is Ross not a Pirate yet?! Have we even been rumored to be interested?

  • If they think Holland is what they need to shore up this rotation… this team has even more problems than I thought.

  • I’ll be pissed if Holland becomes a Pirate… Niese #2 written all over him

  • Add as many arms as you can. Remember how productive Vance Worley was for 1 year. Good insurance.
    Now Holland isn’t option 1, Giolito is. I also believe many will be surprised at how good Kingham is for us at some point in 2017.
    Like to see a Sonny Gray in black and gold, BB loves to trade Neal???

  • Why is the prevailing assumption that we’re targeting these guys for premier roles in our rotation? We almost certainly are not. Rumors linking us to Odorizzi and Joe Ross are probably more indicative of the team’s search of middle-of-the-rotation types of pitchers.

    Signing Holland doesn’t mean we’re not going to get another guy, nor does it mean we don’t want to give our young arms a shot. It’s a depth option, like Clayton Richard was, for example, who might provide a little value if pressed into service. He can be used for something as simple as keeping some young or recently injured starters’ innings under control in AAA.

    Hudson would be signed as a bullpen arm, and most likely to backfill the bullpen, not to feature in the late innings. We already have a few guys for those roles, and if we want to add to our setup men, it would likely be something like bringing back Feliz. Hudson would be more like the Caminero pickup: finding a guy with something to work with and hoping we strike gold. It worked for a year with Caminero, maybe it would with Hudson; but if it doesn’t, we’d just cut him, I’m sure.

    • The Pirates look desperate.

      A few years ago, Holland goes for $1M as a roll of the dice…now the secret is out about scouting rebound candidates, no one wants to touch him and the price tag is still $5M.

    • or since hudson has struggled in the pen……stretch him out, what the hell

  • If there is anyone left that can throw a baseball the Pirates will try to sign them. I doubt either of these guys could win more than five games. Why not give the pitchers they have in the minors a chance? Th y would be cheaper and probably produce the same amount of wins.

  • And to think I was just getting over my latest gastric reflux episode.

    excuse me…

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 6, 2016 4:51 pm

    Please just say no to Holland – he was never much more than a mediocre, middle of the road pitcher at best – no batter than Niese in my opinion. I’d take Locke (gulp) over Holland….

  • This wouldn’t be the worst thing, but counting on this guy for a full season is farfetched. As of now, the only lefties I want are Quintana, Rodon, Snell. Rodon wouldn’t cost much, Quintana (per white sox brass) is nearly the same value as Sale, and Snell is the youngest / best LH asset the Rays have. I would take Cobb, Snell, Odorizzi, over Smyly.

  • Championship………

  • Justin Mastersons

  • What is the difference between Holland and Locke….? nothing and Locke was sent packing…..

    • Perhaps they feel that they were out of ideas with Locke and may think that Holland will respond better to coaching. I am certain they got input from Bannister about that as well.

    • Holland’s numbers will be slightly improved in the NL with no DH, like Burnett and Nova. So the numbers aren’t comparable between Leagues.

    • Holland pitched in Texas, with a DH, in a hitters park. He’s got a way better bb:k ratio than locke.

  • terrygordon30
    December 6, 2016 4:04 pm

    I am not saying that the Pirates should not be looking under every rock, but some of these reclamation projects that are mentioned who years ago would be getting a minor league contract with a spring training invitation, are seeking contracts in the 5-10 million dollar range. And I am not convinced that their Upside/Downside possibilities for this coming year are that much different than what the Pirates already have.

    “But he used to be good!” So were Vernon Law and Bob Friend both of whom were better than anyone that we have now, and better than anyone whom we are looking at. So they have a little age on them. “They used to be good.” Perhaps Law’s end of the 1960 shoulder injury is totally repaired, and maybe Friend’s 1966 down year was a fluke. If Wilbur Cooper and Babe Adams were still alive, they would also be comeback possibilities.

    • I agree completely, terrygordon30. Your points are exceedingly accurate. I am tired beyond words of the Pirates constant parade of reclamation projects into Bradenton every February, expecting that these guys will enable us to legitimately compete with the Cubs and Cards, etc. It is o.k. to bring in guys like that on minor league deals and spring training invitations on the hope that you can catch lightning in a bottle, but to depend on people like Kyle Lobstein and Cory Luebke to be stalwarts on the pitching staff is just foolhardy to the extreme degree.

    • heard adams working on a cutter.

      • terrygordon30
        December 6, 2016 5:37 pm

        Adams is suffering from exposed bone marrow syndrome and will be placed on the permanent disabled list after his great granchildren sign him to a 6 year 175 million dollar contract with the Pirates. This is an example of true payroll flexibility.

  • Hudson has consistently had a good FIP-, SIERA, Contact%, and SwStr%. I can at least see the promise.

    • Agreed. He’s an intriguing arm worth a look at the very least. There’s definitely some stuff there to work with.

      Even as a 5th or 6th reliever, he’s probably worth bringing into the fold for the upside alone.

    • Really low avg Exit Velocity, too, though it’s hard to know how predictive that is.

    • piraterican21
      December 6, 2016 6:07 pm

      I take Trevor Cahill, a name that has been somewhat quite. Last year he turned us down, but he is free agent again.