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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pirates Avoid Arbitration with Drew Hutchison and Jared Hughes

The Pittsburgh Pirates have avoided salary arbitration with right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison, agreeing on a one-year deal for $2.3 M according to Jon Heyman. Teams have until 1 PM Friday to exchange salary figures with players. The Pirates still have not come to terms with Gerrit Cole, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Jordy Mercer and Juan Nicasio, so you can expect more agreements to be announced before tomorrow’s deadline. The Pirates are one of many “file and trial” team, meaning once they exchange figures with a player, then the negotiating ends and they will go to an arbitration hearing.

Hutchison received a $2.2 M salary last year from the Toronto Blue Jays in his first year of being arbitration eligible. He spent just 37 days in the majors in 2016 and fell short of reaching four full years of service time, so he will still be eligible for arbitration at least two more times before he reaches free agency. In 11.1 September innings with the Pirates, he allowed seven runs on 15 hits and three walks, while picking up ten strikeouts.

UPDATE 10:10 PM: Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates have also avoided arbitration with Jared Hughes, settling at $2.825 M. Hughes gets a bump up from $2.175 M in 2016, when he posted a 3.03 ERA and 4.68 FIP in 59.1 innings over 67 appearances, with 34 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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I think with all the young pitchers around this yeah- having Hughes around to come in and bail them out mid inning is so important. There are few pitchers in the majors better in their careers at stranding runners/inherited runners specifically than Jared- one bad year is just one bad year.


He’s certainly a pretty useful piece as a 5th or 6th guy out of the bullpen, and he’s being paid like one. Good to have him back as an option, especially considering the volatility of relievers.


There is noone else that can be trusted to come into a jam- noone. We have no other ground ball pitcher really that can come in, in those situations. Just a bunch of lefties really with marginally command

Dan Berty

Wasn’t impressed by Hutchinson last year, but it was a small sample, just like Glasnow. I expect him to fill the Locke/Vogelson role this year, & if his HR% would normalize, he could put up decent #’s


Well, that’s $2.3 million flushed down the toilet. Hutchison is garbage and nothing more than AAA depth. He’ll probably get shelled in Indy


Another clown comment. You ought to join many in the Pittsburgh sports media.


If you just went by Depth Charts projected ERAs, Hutchinson would be the #5 starter at 3.99. I expect he’ll throw more two seamers this year. Dont know if that’ll work.

Zack Nagel

A fifth starter with a 3.99 era? That would be awful nice…


Hutchinson definitely has some swing and miss stuff with his arsenal, and pairs is with pretty good control. (8.27 k/9, 2.82 w/9 career.) So xFip quite likes him. The problem is he’s an extreme flyball pitcher and when he’s gotten hit, he’s gotten hit HARD. It helps no longer being in a home run friendly field in a home run friendly division in the AL. It looks like he threw some two seamers as a rookie, but not much since. I suspect his success with that pitch will tell us a lot about how his year plays out. I don’t dismiss the idea that he could be hot garbage, but I see why the FO would like him.


There is a lot to like in his profile, but there’s always that question of whether or not he can put it together until he actually does it. The fact that there’s something really obvious for him to correct to have success (which something is better commanding his slider down at and below the knees) gives some hope he’ll be productive. $2.3 MM isn’t going to break the bank, but if he does become a sub-4 ERA/FIP pitcher with those adjustments, it’s a heck of a boost to the team.

Chuck C

I believe the Pirates pick up another American League Pitcher with HR problems (Nova) and he seems to control that in the National League. I did not like the trade for Hutchinson, but he will get every chance to win the 5th position. There are a ton of teams that would like to have a #5 starter with an ERA under 4, including the Bucco’s.


don’t forget Happ


Change of pitch mix, larger park, lack of DH could all greatly help Hutchison. AJ and Nova benefitted from the change in venue, why not Hutch?

Stanley Yip

Jeez, you guys will complain about everything.

dr dng

As a person, I am sure Hughes is a quality person,
but at my job I think I had a better year. Can I get
that kind of raise?


$2.3M for an average AAA pitcher…..wow….that sure cuts into the Liriano “savings”.


Neil couldnt just DFA him cause it makes the Liriano debacle a flat out joke giving 2 prospects to dump a salary. Which it was a joke but always remember Nutting orders things like this…Neil didnt wake up that morning and say, I want to get rid of Liranos salary and give up 2 propects today. Frustrating!! This clown will get moved or released late season or end.


People like you are hilarious. Keep the jokes coming.

Bruce Humbert

So you would have not made the trade…
That would mean…
1. No Freese extension.
2. No Nova
3. No Hudson signing

A rotation of

Two players coming off of awful seasons using up half your available payroll….

Good luck competing with that…


Well Drews results weren’t just going to get magically better being in our organization for 2 months- We’ll see what he does this year with a different eye on mechanics and pitch selection.


I hope he is great, pitching depth can b traded for other needs. Sadly, I think all of our pitching depth are class AAAA pitching…nothing anyone is excited bout


I don’t see anything to back that up. Keep in mind that AAAA pitching is MUCH different than an average pitcher on one of the bottom 15 teams in the league.


The Pirates front office is banking on him earning 0.2-0.3 WAR and providing solid depth…wow! What a careless and risky move! He has had at least 0.3 WAR 2 of his 4 years and he is 26. From a baseball perspective the move makes complete sense.

Brian Z

what do you think was going to happen in arbitration? I don’t follow arbitration stuff that close but has the salary EVER gone down from the previous year’s salary?

dr dng

Wow, I sure hope this works out.

Seems like a big risk investment.
Who said the Pirates don’t take
risks with some significant cash.


A dumb and bad risk….




Here we go…

Jack Reddick

This guy is a waste


How would you ever know ? People like you don’t have a clue.

Scott K

Well there is a guy in Pittsburgh who gets paid to make those determinations, and he doesn’t think so, so I’ll take his word for it instead of yours until proven otherwise.


Well we didn’t have any time to work with him last year- He’s had an entire off-season now to work on things (I’d like to see an interview discussing some of the areas we had him focus on to prepare for spring training) that our guys deemed important for him to be succesfful. I’ll give him some rope, not much…..but some.

Scott Kliesen

The only rope some quote, unquote, fans want to give him is the one to hang himself with. They act like Pirates acquired him for 3 All-Stars, instead of a has been and two likely bench players.


Because Mark Maddon and Bob Pompeani say so.


well I don’t like Drew, and I hate that trade with a passion that I can’t explain, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give Drew the chance to become the pitcher he has the talent to be and our coaching staff the chance to get him there.


I think it’s mostly an inability to decouple the ideas of “giving up too much” and “he’s a bad player.” You can give up too much for a good or average or serviceable player. It’s perfectly legitimate to both not like the trade and recognize Hutchison has some talent and could very well be a useful player who was worth the risk of acquiring.

Fans, like Sith, too often deal in absolutes.

Zack Nagel

What was he projected to earn through arbitration?

eric i

Mlbtr had him at 2.2

Brian Z

so they paid him an extra $100k to avoid the arbitration? Heck the time spent of those involved for the hearing would have been more.

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