Today is Opening Day and the final big name MLB free agent, Greg Holland, finally has a contract.
Former Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland finally has signed a contract as, today, he reached an agreement, pending a physical, with the St. Louis Cardinals for one year and $14 million.
This is a big fall from grace for Holland and his agent, Scott Boras, as before the Rockies signed Wade Davis to be their closer in December for 3 years and $51 million (to make it the most lucrative contract for a reliever ever), the Rockies offered the same contract to Holland…and he rejected it.
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Holland in 2017
In 2017, Holland, who turned 32 in November, was the Rockies closer after missing the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. He led the National League in saves (41) and games finished (58). He only blew four saves (41/45) but he went 3-6 with a 3.61 ERA. However, his rough month of August are the main reason in why his numbers don’t look as good.
If you look at his numbers outside of August, he didn’t have an ERA in any other month higher than 2.25 (it was 13.50 in August) and he didn’t have an opponent batting average higher than .214 (it was .333 in August). In fact, 14 of the 24 runs he allowed all season were allowed in August. Without the month of August, he would have had a season ERA of 1.69.
Holland has maintained himself this offseason so, assuming that he passes the physical with the Cardinals, he will probably be closing for them in two weeks or so.
For Holland, it is unfortunate that he and Scott Boras weren’t able to see that the offer that he got from the Rockies was the best going to be the best offer that he would get. The Rockies, obviously, were interested in having him return but they were able to get a closer, in Wade Davis, that is as good, if not better, than Holland himself.
Some fans might say that the Rockies should have shored up their bullpen even more by signing Holland, especially because it was a one year deal. However, for $14 million, I wouldn’t have done it. Had it been for about half of that, I would have gone for it but, after all, he was the one who rejected their good deal in the first place.