Greg Holland and the Royals Avoid Arbitration


Sep 11, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Greg Holland (56) pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Dayton Moore’s streak remains intact.

Since Moore has taken over as the Royals General Manager, they have yet to go to an arbitration hearing with any of their players. This offseason, they had managed to come to terms with all of their arbitration eligible players, aside from Greg Holland. As the hearing approached, it appeared as though that streak may be ending. However, the Royals and Holland have bridged their impasse, agreeing to terms on a one year contract worth $4.675 Million, and includes a $50,000 bonus should he make the All-Star team this year.

This agreement allows the Royals to keep the dominant Holland, who recorded 47 saves with a 1.21 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 67 innings, at a reasonable rate. The Royals could also potentially start the process of attempting to lock up Holland long term, since this may be their last chance to get Holland at a bargain. Should Craig Kimbrel win his arbitration case (he is looking for $9 Million) then the price for Holland could skyrocket.

Yes, signing Greg Holland to an extension comes with risks. His 2013 season was, far and away, his best season as a major league pitcher. Closers also have a notoriously high turnover rate, burning out quicker than seemingly any other position. Yet, Holland turned 27 last season and may have simply come into his prime. As much as it would be great to see Holland replicate his 2013 season before signing him long term, the Royals may not have the luxury.

Signing any young player to a long term contract is fraught with risks. There is no guarantee that the player will be able to perform over the entirety of the contract the way that they were expected to. However, for a team like the Royals to keep their younger players and build a long term nucleus, that is the type of risk they have to take. They already did so with Salvador Perez, and while it may only be one season, the returns have been positive thus far. Why not take that same chance with Holland?

If nothing else, the Royals have Greg Holland under contract at an affordable rate for one more year. Now, it is a matter of seeing how they move forward.