Pittsburgh Pirates Outright Pitcher Drew Hutchison

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a roster move yesterday.  The news was that they outrighted starting pitcher and 2016 pickup Drew Hutchison.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that is still receiving criticism for a trade made in the 2016 season.  Although most of the negative press on the move has long passed, the fire was sparked once again yesterday.  The Pittsburgh Pirates decided to outright starting pitcher Drew Hutchison off the 40 man roster.  At first glance, many view this move as the Pittsburgh Pirates moving on from the starting pitcher.  However, Hutchison cleared waivers, so he will stay with the organization at least through the rest of the 2017 season.  With that, he will be eligible as a minor league free agent at season’s end.

The Trade

Hutchison, of course, was part of what is likely Neal Huntington’s most controversial trade to date.  He came to the Pittsburgh Pirates when they dealt Francisco Liriano and prospects Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez to the Blue Jays.  Many fans criticized the deal as a straight salary dump of Liriano’s contract, which it was.  Since then, Liriano has been traded to the Astros and converted to the bullpen. Meanwhile, prospects Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez put up very mediocre seasons.  Ramirez had a .658 OPS for the Jays Double-A affiliate, and McGuire only appeared in 45 games.

Now the move has not exactly worked out for the Bucs either.  They used the money saved to sign Daniel Hudson, Ivan Nova, and to extend David Freese.  Hudson has had a very poor season, allowing a ton of home runs.  Nova had a strong first two months of the season, but he has since regressed back to his Yankee stat line giving up a lot of hard contact, which then turned into a lot of home runs and an escalation of his ERA.  Freese has had an average season, although he was forced into a starting role due to the Kang situation.

2017 Season

Hutchison did not do anything to salvage the trade either.  This past year he spent the season in Triple-A after failing to impress last fall and this past Spring Training.  Hutchison ended his 2017 Triple-A stint with a 9-9 record and an ERA of 3.56.  He made 26 starts and 28 total appearances for 159.1 innings.  His peripherals were nothing to behold, he had a FIP of 4.13 and a Xfip of 4.17. He also only induced ground balls 45 percent of the time while owning a low strikeout rate of 7.00 per nine innings.  Nothing really suggested that Hutchison was worthy of an MLB shot.

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End of an era

All in all, the trade pretty much was a flop for both sides.  Hutchison likely will elect to sign with another team this offseason.  He is in a tough place with the Pittsburgh Pirates having plenty of options in front of him. Next year’s rotation already has Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Ivan Nova in it.  Meanwhile, Chad Kuhl will likely get another shot at staying in the rotation, especially with how he has pitched of late.  After those four the Bucs have at least three other higher upside MLB ready arms in Tyler Glasnow, Nick Kingham, and Clay Holmes.  You could even add Steven Brault in the equation.  With that being said, the Drew Hutchison era is likely at its conclusion, one that will not be fondly remembered.