Free agent starter Derek Holland is interested in signing with the Pirates, although the Bucs have not yet made Holland an offer, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. “I’d say the Pirates are on our short list,” says Holland’s agent, Michael Martini.
“We’d prefer a guaranteed spot, but Derek is not afraid to compete for a job,” says Martini. “We’ll see how the market develops, but we would be open to a one-year deal.”
The Pirates appear likely to hunt for low-cost rotation help, since their starting pitching options beyond Gerrit Cole (including Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault, Drew Hutchison, Trevor Williams and top prospect Tyler Glasnow) are mostly very young. They have a reputation for fixing pitchers, and various hurlers (including J.A. Happ, Edinson Volquez and, later this winter, Ivan Nova) have cashed in, or will cash in, on the free agent market after pitching well in Pittsburgh.
Holland was once an important cog in the Rangers rotation, but missed most of the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to injury and struggled to a 4.95 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 107 1/3 innings in 2016 while also experiencing decreased velocity. The Rangers declined his team option for 2017. Holland would appear to be a candidate for the Pirates to cheaply gamble on this winter if they feel they can help him recapture something resembling his 2011-13 prime, when he pitched nearly 600 innings with an ERA below four.
this would be a good eppler signing if the price was right.
I think signing Chavez ruined the chanceof signing other starting pitchers other than weaver
The Pirates have a history of taking on reclaimation projects and getting good results. Makes sense for Holland and possibly the Pirates.
I thought Holland might be a fit because Hurdle and Bannister are good friends, too. The Pirates can find out what kind of person, not just player they’d be getting.
In addition to what the others said, the Bucs could also stand to add a veteran to their rotation. Guys like A.J. Burnett and Edinson Volquez have been good mentors for those young pitchers in addition to performing well for the Bucs. More recently the Pirates tried the veteran route with Jon Niese, which didn’t work so well.
Why don’t the Yankees look at him. He’ll be much cheaper than most starters and has the ability to be a mid rotation guy. We have at least 2 open spots in the rotation to fill
The yankees at reclamation projects don’t really fit.
Also guys looking to bounce back aren’t going to go to a team that plays in a hitter friendly park and plays in the most hitter friendly division. Granted he won’t have to worry too much about the short right porch (if you believe he’ll pitch better against lefties than righties), but it still stands that a pitcher-friendly park is usually the best spot for a pitcher to reclaim value.
Pitchers lobbying to sign with the Pirates. Who’da thunk it?
No surprise really. The Pirates have been signing reclamation projects, on the cheap, in hopes of building a good name, with veterans, for a few years.
Sign em. Fix em. Use em. Ship em off.
So much for Padres but pitchers making bank spending time with Pirates then going back to free agency.
Holland could use some time with Ray Searage.
Sounds like a good fit, BUT the Pirates have to start getting a bit more for fixing these guys careers and making them millions.
Just making up random numbers, but if the Pirates sign a pitcher like Holland for $8 million and help him have Ivan Nova/JA Happ numbers where he’ll get $35-60 million on his next deal….they need to include a team option for a fair number, like $15 million.
So, $8 million for the first year…if they fix him, they can keep him for one more year at almost double the money and THEN he’s free to go make the big money thanks to Searage.
This seems fair to all sides. If the pitcher doesn’t agree and wants to go sign somewhere else and flame out instead, plenty of broken arms out there.
This is a good call, though the player would have to be very unconfident in his ability to have a big season with another team, and presumably most successful big league pitchers wouldn’t feel themselves dependent upon the Pirates organization for turning their careers around.
Also I don’t know where you’re getting that $60m figure from. Happ got $36m, Volquez got like $23m, I know some people are pegging Nova for $50m+ but I see him more in the mid-$30m’s.
Also, don’t forget the Pirates would get a draft pick if they signed a guy (like Holland) to a one-year deal and he performed well then signed elsewhere. With Nova and Happ, it’s not like they signed those guys in the first place so it’s not like they were in any position to dictate or negotiate contract terms with them,
Wouldn’t Holland have to be extended a qualifying offer (17.2 mil this year) in order to get a compensation pick? If anything, if Holland is able to figure it out again they may use him as trade bait. NL central going to be next to impossible for them to win (sure theres a wild card) and maybe get a prospect in return. I can see the Pirates being better in 2018 compared to 17 after theyre able to get guys like Glasnow and Meadows a little experience.
The QO works as that option year. It’s a little more expensive than what you propose, but if the pitcher really reverts back to his normal self, the QO wouldn’t be that bad of an investment. He declines? They get a comp pick. He accepts? He’s signed on for one more year at a slighly higher price than an option year might’ve given him and assuming they continue to play well, they can be shipped off for a prospect. Happ and Nova were not part of this because they were in-season trades, meaning their contracts were not created by the Pirates and they were not QO eligible.
The Pirates would never pay $15 million a year for almost anyone, let alone a mid-rotation guy at best. Their players start pushing $10m a year and they are out the door. $15m is 20% of payroll.
Holland wouldn’t exactly be a rebuild project. As a ranger fan I can tell u that holland is a never lived to potential, not a player that lost it. He has 2 seasons of pitching 100 innings with an era less than 4.
Nova and Happ both fit those descriptions. Nova had more of a appealing track record, but let’s not forget that Happ was a key part of the Roy Halladay trade and the Hunter Pence trade. The guy had potential, he just never lived up to it. A sub 4 ERA (if the guy can give at least 150 IP) is good for a mid-rotation pitcher if he can stay healthy or a back end-rotation pitcher to eat some innings. There are worse guys out there (both in terms of ERA and/or IP) who get chances or have a spot in a rotation.
Happ wasn’t part of the Halladay trade. Jays acquired him mid-season 2012 in a 10 player deal.
Partly, Holland derailed himself after that dog fall incident. He was never the rising talent he was after that injury. He’s on a slide now to back of the rotation and the bullpen.
Just saw he average 90.3 mph and only had a 38.3% ground ball rate.
The Pirates know they messed up by experimenting with fly ball pitchers like Niese and Feliz and will be getting back to guys with 50% or so ground ball rates.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates brought back Volquez and/or Morton.
I really like Derek. He’s a fun person but the harsh reality is injuries have taken their toll here. I’d love to see him make a comeback but his velocity is way down and he’s just not consistent. Jamie Moyer showed U don’t need a 95MPH heater to be effective but he knew how to pitch.
would be a classic pirates move.
They will not do it! The costs to sign real talent makes this unrealistic