Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Derek Holland


As the offseason hot stove begins to pick the rumors are starting to swirl. And it appears the Pirates have had contact with left-handed starting pitcher Derek Holland.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, three teams have reached out to free agent left-handed starting pitcher Derek Holland. These three teams are the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Pittsburgh Pirates. This comes a few days after Holland had expressed interest in joining the Pirates.

The Pittsburgh Pirates need to add at least two starting pitchers this offseason. However, Derek Holland should not be one of those two pitchers. Because, quite frankly, Derek Holland is A) not very good and B) injury prone.

The 30-year old Holland is coming off of a rough 2016 season. In 2016 he averaged just 5.62 K/9, he allowed 15 home runs (1.26 HR/9), and he had just a 38.3 percent ground ball rate in 107 1/3 innings pitched. All of this led to Holland posting a 4.95 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 5.14 xFIP, and a 0.9 WAR in 2016.

The 107 1/3 innings Holland pitched in 2016 were the most he had pitched since 2013 (213 innings pitched). Due to a variety of injuries, Holland pitched just 37 innings in 2014 and 58 2/3 in 2015.

Throughout his career Derek Holland has allowed too many home runs. In 985 career innings pitched he is allowing an average of 1.21 home runs per nine innings pitched. This comes as no surprise, though, as his 42.3 percent ground ball rate is far too low. It also does not fit the Pirate mold.

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Holland’s 2017 steamer projects have him pitching 170 innings. While that would be a great addition to the Pirates’ rotation, his 4.45 FIP and 4.65 xFIP would not be. Hopefully the Pittsburgh Pirates stay far, far away from Derek Holland this offseason. I believe the Pirates would be better off rolling the dice with a young arm such as Trevor Williams or Drew Hutchison in 2017 than going with Holland.