Holland, Ward join Tigers on Minors deals

February 1st, 2021

Ten years after left-hander Derek Holland faced the Tigers in the American League Championship Series, he’ll be trying to join them. The veteran left-hander agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with Detroit with an invite to Major League camp for Spring Training, the team announced on Monday.

Holland has faced the Tigers eight times over his 12-year Major League career. He most recently pitched for the Pirates, going 1-3 with a 6.86 ERA in 12 games (five starts) last season. But he’s best remembered for eight years with the Rangers, which included going 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA in the 2011 season, helping the Rangers go on to win the AL pennant.

The 34-year-old Holland is expected to be used as a reliever with the Tigers. He’s the latest in a line of signings to bolster the Tigers’ pitching depth as they try to cover innings to build back up from last year's 60-game season. Left-hander Miguel Del Pozo, who was Holland's teammate in Pittsburgh last season, signed a Minor League deal with Detroit earlier this offseason.

The Tigers also announced on Monday that they agreed to terms on a Minor League deal with former Nationals farmhand and left-handed-hitting corner infielder Drew Ward.

The 26-year-old Ward spent seven seasons in the Nationals' system, topping out at Triple-A Fresno in 2019, before spending last season in independent ball. He batted .335 (73-for-218) last year with 17 homers and 45 RBIs for Fargo-Moorhead of the American Association.