The Phillies announced this morning that they’ve signed right-hander Drew Hutchison to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Hutchison, 27, once looked like a potential long-term rotation cog for the Blue Jays. After missing the entire 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery, Hutchison returned in 2014 to make 32 starts in Toronto, pitching to a 4.48 ERA with more impressive 9.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 3.85 FIP and 3.59 SIERA marks. That solid performance came at just 23 years of age.
However, Hutchison endured some significant struggles in an uneven 2015 season and finished out the year with an unsightly 5.57 ERA in 150 1/3 innings. While fielding-independent metrics felt there was some misfortune at play (he did sport a lofty .343 BABIP and an uncharacteristically low 64.5 percent strand rate), Hutchison saw his strikeout, swinging-strike and home run rates all trend in the wrong direction during that ugly 2015 season.
Hutchison appeared sparingly in the Majors in 2016 and was ultimately traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh in the Francisco Liriano salary dump. While Hutchison seemed a reasonable buy-low piece for the Pirates in that swap, though, he never received much of an opportunity in the Majors despite posting quality numbers in Triple-A. Over the past two seasons at that level, Hutchison has tossed 297 1/3 innings of 3.57 ERA ball with 7.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9.
With the Phillies, he’ll compete for a rotation spot behind staff leader Aaron Nola. Others in the rotation mix for the Phils include Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin and Mark Leiter Jr. — each of whom saw some time in the Major Leagues last season. Eickhoff and Velasquez are probably penciled in for rotation spots, health permitting, though neither turned in an especially impressive showing in 2017.
Should Hutchison reestablish himself as a big league arm, the Phillies will have the added bonus of controlling him for up to three years via the arbitration process, as he’s currently sitting on three years, 165 days of Major League service time.
High key love this. He was great in Indy last year while everybody was distracted by the contract.
Orioles lost another guy they were interested in. We could use some rotation competition, he would’ve at least given us that. And it would’ve beeen cheap. Surprised we didn’t get him.
MT in Baltimore
Disappointing, but not surprising…
This was not the pitcher I was hoping for… lol
Another small market move. Wish we could compete with the dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox. Instead we hang out with the marlins, orioles, and royals
Why spend when they know they aren’t competing. They already picked up Santana, and could possibly be gearing up for a big splash next year.
It’s fascinating so called fans of baseball haven’t figured this out yet. Philly will be in on literally everyone next offseason but this guy will still complain and not understand how building a team in 2016 works.
“Philly will be in on”
The way Milwaukee and Minnesota were “in on” Yu Darvish?
Let us know when __you__ figure it out.
I don’t like new age baseball financing where teams tank for years in the hopes of getting better. Don’t see the Yankees, Red Sox’s or Dodgers doing it.
Dodgers just re-signed Chase Utley and signed Mark Lowe
Yankees signed Danny Espinosa, Jace Peterson, and Wade LeBlanc
All teams make moves like this.
quiet, they don’t like facts and sense.
The Cubs signed multiple guys like this, too.
Makes me wonder where these fans were after 08. Phil’s were some of the biggest spenders for next 4 years. Back then, it’s complaining about spending too much. Now, they want the front office to throw my net around at…whom? Who should we be bringing in from this off-season’s crop of free agents? Puh-leeeease.
very solid, subtle signing. The guy has some good tools and a lot left in the tank, still only 27
Not to be a buzzer kill or nothing but I don’t think minor league transactions should be posted on here. This is MLB trade rumors not minor league trade rumors. Who really cares this guy singed a contract other then his wife and kids. I mean what’s next reporting softball transactions lol.
One thing to remember was that Brandon Morrow, Anthony Swarzak and Matt Albers were minor league contract signings last season
Every year, a few of them work out quite well, which makes it worth knowing.
You do realize that he signed the contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, an MLB team, right?
John Middleton built a castle for himself in Palm Beach. John Powers Middleton was living in a Hollywood Hills mansion when he was 25 years old. I’m constantly screamed at that this doesn’t matter at the same time the Phillies refuse to sign talent out of Cuba when their farm system is shot out.
Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Yoan Moncada. The Phillies had a craving need for these players when they were available but John Middleton was building a castle in Palm Beach at the time that took years to construct after he bulldozed an eight million dollar mansion on the property that simply was not good enough for him.
does it matter though? the phils could win the world series and you would still be blaming John Middleton for something. find a new routine, could ya? this one is so played out.
A lot of these guys live beyond their means. I read about Cole hamels being thrown out of his mansion and gave it to charity to make it look good. These things happen all the time. Money talks my friend.
raltongo……Before Middleton he whined for years (as free_aec) about Montgomery. He is a Phillies fan in the same way Larry Craig was anti gay
You do not understand 40 man rosters. To sign him to a major league contract someone needs to come of the 40 man roster and exposed to waivers most likely.
Minor league deal is mlb news. He will be in major league spring training camp. If he does well the bought themselves 6 weeks to make a 40 man roster spot.
People get hurt. Trades are made. A spot can open or if not they can add him then but have 6 weeks to decide who to release
Your right I don’t care about the 40 man rooster considering only 25 people get on the team so no I do not care about them 15 other guys at all
You and your rooster have no clue.
agreed. this isn’t a bad move at all. They just bought a cheap lotto ticket and hope to get lucky.
Don’t read it then fool.
I very much care, and when an injury happens to a starter, and a guy like Hutchinson gets called up, you will also care
It’s because he was invited to spring training. He has good shot of making the team.
Feel free to start your own site and report only what you choose.
You could not read it, as well.
By the way, he was signed BY THE MAJOR LEAGUE ORGANIZATION, to a
contract to play for their minor league team.
I hate to say it but your clearly an idiot
If “you’re” going to call people idiots, don’t give them ammunition while you do it.
I figured he was looking in a mirror when he said that.
The backlash against Hutchison and the Pirates after the trade was such that he never got a real chance. He was a punch line. It didn’t matter whether he pitched well or not.
Even this morning, the sports radio updates mentioned him signing this minor league deal. Rest assured, they don’t typically report on other team’s minor league signings in the 30 second updates, but again…punch line.
Now, FTR, I think he’s probably right on the border of AAAA/mediocre #5 but he put good numbers in Indy and should get a shot to find out.
I’ll take it. It’s another insurance plan in case the young arms decide not to show up again this season. A better plan is one of the big arms still left out there, but we know where this organization stands in terms of long term pitching risk. I can’t disagree with that philosophy considering the options out there right now. We are all praying that one or more of the cast of young arms listed above decides they want to be a boss this season and gets the job done.
Really, really hope Pivetta, Thompson, and/or Eflin can take a big step forward this year. Hutchinson and Leiter in long relief might be okay if they don’t have to take on the #5 spot.
I suppose he never got a “real chance”, but I also recall he had a miserable spring training and the Pirates always had fairly decent pitching depth to begin with. So he seemingly validated that he was AAA depth at best. Perhaps a decent enough low-risk flyer.
Keep on thing in mind about the “punch line” though:
It wasn’t just Francisco Liriano that was traded for Hutchinson. The Pirates also had to toss in two decent prospects (Reese McGuire – catcher, Harold Ramirez – OF) just to get the Blue Jays to take the salary… plus Liriano of course… plus two prospects. So nobody greeted Hutchinson with open arms and the poor guy was doomed from the start for the sort of “trade” that wasn’t supposed to happen anymore for the Pirates.
Here’s an interesting piece that revisits the backstory a little bit.
This is a great low risk signing by the Phils. I watched Hutch for years in TO. It was clear he came back too fast from Tommy John and in the short term he had one great year for the Jays but it clobbered his arm for the longterm. I hope he can get it back. If healthy and having his control, Hutch can be a solid #3 starter. In the “wounded” and lack of control form of the past few years he isn’t even a good reliever at the MLB level. #Scoutseyes
32 starts, 184 innings 1st yr back after TJ. Any recent studies on post TJ results and correlation with workload?
MLBTR, my suggestion would be to please keep posting up minor league news as long as they are past major leaguers, high end prospects or have been or could be potentially connected to a major league level club in the current year.
We don’t need to hear about Jon Smith, AA shortstop who stubbed his toe, had a bad year, got cut my the Marlins organziation and now has just signed with the Padres.
MLBTR, thank you and keep up the good work.
This is simply a “depth” move. We have enough #5 starters to start another whole rotation.
1a: Nola / Eickhoff / Velasquez / Pivetta / Lively
2a: Thompson / Eflin / Hutchinson / Leiter / Eshelman
AAA: Tavaras / Anderson / De Los Santos / Pinto / Leibrandt
I love the bullpen additions, but the Santana signing means nothing without getting another starter or two, and not the possible 5th starter type, we need someone before or after Nola, or both.