The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Daniel Hudson, a source confirmed to Cover Those Bases on Monday.
Hudson's deal with the Pirates is for two years and is worth $11 million, the source said. The deal includes $1.5 million in incentives for both seasons based on games finished. They begin to kick when Hudson finishes 30 games, and they will max out if he finishes 60.
Hudson will add to the back-end of a Pirates bullpen that has lost two crucial pieces in the last calendar year in Mark Melancon and Neftali Feliz (who is still a free agent at the time of this writing).
The 29-year-old Hudson has been with the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2010, and while he began his career as a starter, he was converted to relief after having two Tommy John surgeries.
Armed with a fastball that can get as high as 98 m.p.h., Hudson has the potential to be a valauble piece at the end of games. Though he has not closed in his career, it could be between him and Tony Watson for the closer's job in Pittsburgh in 2017.
Last season, the Pirates' bullpen was among the worst in the league. They ranked 25th in the Major Leagues in Wins Above Replacement (FanGraphs), but that was mostly due to poor strikeout-to-walk numbers. As for their ERA, the Pirates' posted a much more respectable 10th.
Hudson had some ups and downs last year. Overall, he posted a 5.22 ERA over 60.1 innings pitched, to go along with a 58-22 K/BB ratio. But, he was still worth 0.6 WAR (FanGraphs).
His inflated ERA was likely due to a tough stretch in the middle of the summer when Hudson allowed 26 earned runs over just 9.2 innings. After that funk, which ended around the beginning of August, Hudson posted a 1.66 ERA and a 24-6 K/BB ratio in 21.2 innings. In fact, Hudson allowed 74 percent of all his earned runs for the entire season during those couple months.
As many as 16 teams showed interest in Hudson, including the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins, according to reports.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan was the first to report the Pirates' signing of Hudson.