WEDNESDAY: The deal is now official.
MONDAY 7:43pm: The deal is split into two $5.5MM annual salaries, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
2:49pm: The Pirates have agreed to a two-year, $11MM contract with free agent right-hander Daniel Hudson, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Hudson, a client of Jet Sports, can earn up to $1.5MM of incentives per year based on games finished and could end up being a factor for the Pirates in the ninth inning on this new contract.
[Related: Updated Pittsburgh Pirates Depth Chart]
Hudson, 30 in March, posted an unsightly 5.22 ERA in 60 1/3 innings with the D-backs last season, but all of the damage done against him was confined to one dismal stretch over the summer. Hudson was sporting a 1.55 ERA as deep into the season as June 21, but he was rocked for 26 runs over his next 15 appearances (during which time he had a staggering .625 BABIP). To close out the season, Hudson allowed just four runs in 21 1/3 innings.
The Pirates are clearly banking that the dominant form with which Hudson bookended his 2016 campaign is a true representation of his talent. Since coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, Hudson has averaged about 96 mph on his fastball and looked the part of a potentially dominant late-inning presence, though his bottom-line results have yet to line up with that perception. The Pirates, though, have a history of success when it comes to turning pitchers’ careers around, and Hudson becomes the latest in a long line of arms to attempt to go that route.
While Hudson probably won’t be handed the closer’s role outright, he’ll compete with longtime setup man Tony Watson for that role. Watson stepped into the ninth inning following the trade of Mark Melancon last year and performed well, though Watson himself has been an oft-mentioned trade candidate and could be moved this winter or next summer, as he’s just a year from reaching free agency. Other late-inning options for manager Clint Hurdle include hard-throwers Felipe Rivero (acquired in the Melancon trade) and Juan Nicasio.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Good signing, he’s got good stuff
Damn. We’re gonna miss him in AZ. Good luck Daniel
Sad that he’s leaving Arizona, but happy to see that he’s going to be making some money.
He’s terrible. Will the Pirates ever spend money on good pitchers?
He’s a decent starter turned reliever
Well they have had some pretty good pitching staffs so I think their plan has been working. Seems like another pirates reclamation project and he looks like a good candidate to bounce back.
Career 3.59 FIP is terrible? Stop commenting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
If it’s not “Nutting is cheap” it’s “why do the Pirates spend money on bad players?”.
You folks will always find something to complain about.
Yinzers are only happy when they are whining or drinking IC Light.
Mark Madden has an army of parrots who live to bash the Pirates for anything and everything they do.
The Burgh is sneaky depressing. Lots of rain during the summer and dark and dreary the rest of the time. Up that vitamin D.
It’s not just Madden. All of the talk guys are the same. They all do a great job of getting people to call. Most yinzers parrot what the talk guys say because the are the experts. The are only experts at getting people to listen and call. This’ is Ed from Carnegie, love the show….no one ever thinks for themselves in the Burgh………..
interesting. for the pirates to spend that much, do they plan for him to be their closer? or even try him as a starter again?
no chance he’s starting. closing is possible, since he has a guaranteed salary it would help keep arb numbers down for in house talent.
2/11 really isn’t a ton in today’s market, but it does look like he could be the favorite to close for the Pirates.
I’d pencil him in for a 7/8th inning role, wouldn’t Watson be the favorite to close or does Pittsburgh view him more as a lhp specialist/set up man
Ya you’re right, Watson will be the favorite but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s traded in the next 6 months.
Yeah with the market the way it is it just makes sense to trade Watson, I doubt his value will get any higher
just seems like alot for the Pirates.
Love this signing. Hudson’s bad second half really lowered his price tag. This guy has the stuff to be a top tier reliever, and we’ve seen what the Pirates can do with guys who throw hard.
Super high risk though. Two-time TJ survivor.
Just Another Fan
His very consistent FIPs (3.59 career/3.81 in 2016) throughout his career are far more interesting than his ERA’s, which look entirely defense-handicapped. This guy is good.
This doesn’t seem like a very Pirates type move.
Watson, Rivero, Hudson, Bastardo, Hughes forms the core for a very good bullpen.
Does this mean they have given up on signing Ivan Nova and want a strong pen for the young starters?
Huh? This move is so Pirates. Buy low on a reliever with great stuff. Not only does this give them more pen depth, it allows them to move Watson if the right offer comes along. Great signing.
Buy low? For a normal team, sure. This is one of the largest free agent deals in Pirate history.
And I agree, I like the signing a lot. I’m OK with bringing back Nova, but I don’t want to get a veteran just to get a veteran (like Ryan Vogelsong) and am happy to let a young kid take the ball every day if it comes to that.
Not only Watson, but Bastardo and Hughes could both easily be trade candidates. Bastardo is making too much money for what he can do (though he was still a brilliant re-acquisition as he makes $4 million per year less than Jon Niese, who isn’t worth a bag of chips in a trade). Hughes is… well, very replaceable.
Even if the Bucs sign Nova or are able to acquire a pitche equal to or better than Nova, they still will depend on 3 young guys besides Cole to fill out the rotation. So this does not mean the end of Nova ar all.
Signing Hudson seems like a mighty luxury when the Pirates have no money to spend on a starter. Wouldn’t it make more sense to save that money for a solid starter and then fill in the bullpen?
It’s like they just bought a Playstation for full price but don’t have a TV to use it with.
What “solid starter” is this move going to prevent the Pirates from signing? Nova?
You aren’t gonna get a starter for 2/11. They have plenty of young arms to fill out that rotation.
Oh you can get one, The Bucs had a similar one but the fans hated him. Ground Chuck….
despite what the bloggers are telling you, the bull pen has been their biggest problem. they now have four lefties in the pen in Watson, Bastardo, Rivero and Webb, no one who looks like a solid closer and Watson, Bastardo and Nicasio are all in the last year of their deals.
The rotation has plenty of arms, Cole, Taillion, Kuhl, Hutch, Williams, Glasnow and Brault will all be fighting for a rotation spot and Kingham should be here in the summer time. Plenty of arms many unproven or questionable though and the free agent market is thin so that’s probably what we’ll end up with,
Perhaps they are building a strong bullpen to allow their young pitchers to compete for five or six innings, develop, and maintain any lead they have after those outings.
Great now trade Bastardo and pick up a starter to compete for the bottom of the rotation.
Good signing, wish they could have got Ziegler and have a Hudson, Watson, Ziegler back end.
Rivero is a better option IMO anyway
I agree, I just have a thing for guys who throw side armed.
The long ball was just a fad. Chicks dig the side armed reliever now.
I think Hudson is a great fit with the Bucs. Him and Watson are a solid late inning duo on paper.
Seattle got Zep-Chin-Ski for the same deal, and it will be fun to compare the two along the way.
This is why the Diamondbacks really should have traded Hudson last July. Was two months of him in a lost season really worth more than whatever other teams were offering? And now he’s gone anyway.
The Pirates could sign a coffee table and Pirates fans would say “Seems like a good reclamation project, I’m sure they can make him good.” Meanwhile, they fall back into that sub.500 home they should all know and love.
Cubs fans be like “we waited 108 years to act like Red Sox fans have for the past 12 years.”
Still waiting to meet a humble Cubs fan….I’m sure they’re out there but I’m beginning to have my doubts
They were one of the best teams in baseball from 2013-2015 because of reclamation projects.
Why so salty? They have their limitations as a small payroll club and they’ve done better than most teams with buy low acquisitions. Good for them.
I have faith he will perform just fine personally, but he honestly didn’t earn that contract based on the numbers. 2/8 is closer. It’s a shame what happened to this guy’s career. I used to really look forward to his progression as a starter.
“2/8 is a closer” – What year do you think it is?
Please learn to read before replying critically. I said 2/8 is closer, as in 2 years for 8 million overall is closer to what his value is- not two years for eight million lands “a closer”.
His value is 2/11
Well, please enlighten me because he’s been a reliever all of two years after multiple injuries forced him into a reliever role- last year, of which, his ERA was over 5. Brett Cecil put up 3 years of sub-3 ERA in possibly the toughest division and only got 2 million more per season…and he’s a lefty.
Brett Cecil got 19.5MM more in guaranteed money, that should say where the valuations between both relievers are. Hudson’s ERA shouldn’t be thought of as an accurate reflection of his actual skill, as he had poor defense behind him last year. 2/11 is a good deal for a guy with his stuff. That number is what it is mostly due to his injury history. If he was healthy, I bet he could’ve had more years on that contract and been out of the Pirate’s budget.
I don’t disagree that he may be worth more going forward and has ability, however based on performance thus far it just seems a little high. He’s already almost 30 so it isn’t like we’re talking about a youthful player with a lot of raw ability that hasn’t developed yet. Poor defense or not, that excuse can only go so far. MLB defenses are still major league defenses. It would be one thing if he had great control or had a gaudy K/9 or was excellent in inducing ground balls, but he doesn’t particularly have any of that. I will say that simply referencing ERA is a little unfair, though, and he theoretically doesn’t have much mileage on his arm.
Arizona didn’t shift nearly as much as the Pirates do, which will certainly help Hudson’s peripherals. Plus Hudson had the 19th best average fastball velocity in baseball last season. He has good stuff; he just had a couple bad weeks last season, and when relievers have a couple bad weeks it can wreck their season stats.
I guess that’s fair. Really haven’t seen him pitch since he was a starter. Even so, Nathan Eovaldi throws like the hardest in the league and has struggled mightily and he’s quite younger
Pitchers get better in Pittsburgh
Except Jonathan Sanchez
And Jon Niese. And Wandy Rodriguez. And Erik Bedard.
NH needs to avoid old lefty starters.
Wandy was just fine until he got hurt. As for the rest of them, and Wandy post-injury… yeah, no lefties.
JA Happ did just fine. As did Liriano other than last year.
This shouldn’t have anything to do with the Pirates pursuit of a starting pitcher, but they just seem to never want to pay market value for anything. I understand not wanting to waste money, but it’s too risky to rely on a ton of rookie pitchers to pitch key innings. I don’t want a useless guy like Niese or Vogelsong, but unfortunately they’ll probably sign someone like Fister or De La Rosa, trade a reliever, and call it an offseason.
I agree with you regarding the Pirates and starting pitching, but you should be pretty happy if they signed Fister
so long nova!
Used to be really excited for his career before the TJs came along. Sad to see he had to go through that twice but would be cool to see him have a good career as a late inning reliever.
Interested to see what Pirates pitching coach can do for him this is a guy that at one time looked like he was gonna develop into a good number 2 starter.So the stuff is there maybe searage can make a dominant closer out of him. I wouldnt be shocked to see it happen.
perhaps if he’s handled with extreme caution Hudson can avoid being blown up most nights. he did turn in a decent start last season, through May he was smelling like a rose. then the bottom dropped out he went from 9+era in june to 19.09 in July before the snakes reeled him in. If the pirates are looking for an answer Hudson isn’t it. hard to imagine phoning the pen with any confidence, to summon Hudson. the way I see it the pirates just squandered 11mil on a guy who is going to be a liability out of that pen.