The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed veteran left-handed pitcher Derek Holland to a minor league deal. It was first reported by Troy Hughes last night and confirmed by Adam Berry this morning. If you missed my tweet about it last night, Holland himself seemed to confirm the news, but we now have better confirmation to back up his subtle tweet. It’s said to include an option to opt out if he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training.
So, Derek Holland posted this gif after a tweet from someone with a large following said that he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates…stay tuned https://t.co/hctbL7nyvq
— John Dreker (@JohnDreker) January 31, 2020
The 33-year-old Holland has pitched 11 season in the majors, posting a career 4.54 ERA and a 4.53 FIP over 1,375.2 innings, with a 1.37 WHIP and 1,145 strikeouts. He split the 2019 season between the Giants and Cubs, posting a 6.08 ERA, a 6.10 FIP and a 1.51 WHIP in 84.1 innings, though he did record 82 strikeouts. For the first time in his career, he pitched more in relief than as a starter. While the ERA was still high, his 4.53 mark as a reliever was much better than the 8.10 ERA he posted as a starter in 2019.
Holland is just one year removed from a solid season in San Francisco. He had a 3.57 ERA/3.87 FIP, a 1.29 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 171.2 innings in 2018.
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.