SF Giants: Veteran Hurler Signs with Detroit Tigers
By Jeff Young
The Detroit Tigers added some competition to the pitching staff last week by signing a former SF Giants southpaw.
Derek Holland agreed to a minor-league pact with the Tigers, hat tip to Jon Morosi of MLB Network for confirming the deal for the former SF Giants starter. The deal includes an invite to Spring Training.
The left-handed hurler received a minor-league contract in 2018 from the SF Giants that turned out to be a good value move for the club. Working primarily as a starter, Holland registered a 3.57 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, and a 2.52 SO/W ratio across 171.1 frames.
Former SF Giants Hurler Signs with Tigers
Following this season, the Giants rewarded him with a substantial raise by inking him to a one-year, $6.5 million with a team option for 2020. However, he followed up his strong 2018 campaign with a less-than-stellar 2019 season. In ten games, the southpaw posted a 6.08 ERA with the Giants before being traded to the Cubs for cash.
Things did not get much better as he produced a 6.89 ERA with the Cubs in 20 appearances. As Jules Posner of Forbes notes, Holland seemingly overstayed his welcome with San Francisco with a couple of controversial actions.
He latched on with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020 where he generated a 6.86 ERA across 40.2 innings for a team that desperately needed any and all pitchers to soak up innings.
In total across 12 seasons, Holland has accumulated a 79-81 record, 4.61 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, and a 2.32 SO/W ratio. That said, it does look like his strong 2018 campaign was an outlier relative to the other seasons in the latter half of his career.
However, he throws from the left side with a fastball that sits comfortably in the low-90’s and consistently posts strikeout rates north of 20 percent, so he will continue to see interest on the market. He has experience as a swingman and that is likely a role he will see on the 2021 Tigers pitching staff.
Detroit has highly-rated arms in Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal to go along with solid veterans Spencer Turnbull, Michael Fulmer, and Matthew Boyd. There may not be many opportunities for Holland to crack the rotation in a consistent role. Though, he could fill in capably as a spot starter.
Nevertheless, teams are in an endless pursuit of pitching depth after a pandemic-shorted 2020 season, and adding Holland on a minors deal helps in achieving that end.