The Pirates And Drew Hutchison Avoid Arbitration
On Thursday night the Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison agreed to a 1-year contract in order to avoid salary arbitration.
Major League Baseball teams have until 1 PM Friday to come to contract agreements with their arbitration eligible players. Entering Friday the Pittsburgh Pirates had six such players. However, now they have just five.
This is due to right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison agreeing to a new 1-year contract on Friday night to avoid arbitration. The contract agreed upon between the two sides will pay Hutchison 2.3 million dollars in 2017. This is 100,000 dollars more than he earned a year ago.
The Pirates acquired Drew Hutchison at the trade deadline last year. His acquisition came in the controversial, yet smart, Francisco Liriano trade. In this trade the Pirates acquire Hutchison in exchange for Liriano, and fading prospects Harold Ramriez and Reese McGuire.
In total last season Drew Hutchison pitched in nine Major League games. Three of these nine games were starts. And in his nine outings he pitched 24 innings.
In these 24 innings pitched Hutchison averaged 8.25 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, and he had a 1.46 WHIP. However, he was plagued by the long ball. Hutchison allowed six home runs (2.25 HR/9) in just 24 innings pitched.
Overall, Hutchison posted a 5.25 ERA, 5.69 FIP, and a 4.59 xFIP in 2016. With the Pirates, these numbers were slightly better. As he posted a 4.73 FIP, and averaged just 2.38 BB/9 and 1.59 HR/9 in 11 1/3 innings pitched.
Drew Hutchison will enter Spring Training with a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation. Right now four of the five spots in the Pirate starting rotation are locked up by Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Ivan Nova, and Chad Kuhl. That fifth spot, however, remains up for grabs.
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If the Pirates add another starting pitcher this offseason, then, in my opinion, Hutchison will not make the rotation. Instead, he would then compete for a spot out of the Pirate bullpen. And as I wrote about earlier in the offseason, this could be a great fit for Hutchison.
I fully expect Drew Hutchison to be on the Opening Day roster. However, in what capacity remains to be seen.