Worst Free Agent Contracts in Pittsburgh Pirates History
#8, Eric Hinkse, 1-year $1.5 million
When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Eric Hinske there was some intrigue but not super high expectations. Hinkse was brought in primarily to be a corner bench bat. What made him an interesting fit for the Pittsburgh Pirates was his power from the left side of the plate.
Over the course of his Big League career, Hinske averaged 16 home runs per 162 games played. A pretty solid number for a player who only played over 140 games in a season 3 times in 12 years. So the thought was bringing his power to PNC Park would be an absolute perfect match. Well, it of course did not work out that way for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Eric Hinske played in 54 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2009 season before being traded to the New York Yankees. During his time with the Pirates, he batted .255 with 1 home run, 11 RBIs, and a .710 OPS. He primarily played as a left fielder and first baseman for the team. All numbers that were suggesting a year that Hinske would set multiple career lows.
Luckily for Hinkse, he had an opportunity to prove himself elsewhere. Eric Hinske was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Yankees in June 2009. He played in 39 games for the Yankees during the remainder of the 2009 season, primarily as a left fielder and designated hitter.
Hinske was a valuable contributor to the Yankees' championship run, batting .226 with 7 home runs and 14 RBIs in 84 plate appearances. He hit a key home run in the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels, helping the Yankees reach the World Series. How typical for the Pittsburgh Pirates, a proven veteran not producing and then leaving to only reclaim his form for another team. Hinkse is just another name in a long list that made 7 figures from the Pirates to essentially not produce.