By Jason Shetler
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported that Derek Holland is interested in signing with the Pirates. “I’d say the Pirates are on our short list,” this according to Holland’s agent, Michael Martini.
Holland spent the first eight years of his big league career with the Texas Rangers. The 30-year-old southpaw was a vital part of the Rangers rotation in 2011 when they made back-to-back appearances in the World Series. Holland had his best season in 2013, posting a 3.42 ERA with a 120 ERA+ and a WAR of 3.3 in 33 starts. The injury bug has been a problem for him, and 2016 was no exception, as he missed two months with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Earlier this week, the Rangers declined Holland’s 2017 club option for $11 million.
Should Holland sign with the Pirates, he would provide them with a left-hander in a rotation that is currently right-handed heavy with Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl and possibly Tyler Glasnow. Even with the injuries, Holland has pitched well in the past, so if he’s able to stay healthy, the Pirates could have themselves a bounce back starter on a very reasonable one-year contract.