Greg Holland Avoids Arbitration, Signs for $8.25 Million


Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Flanagan is reporting that the Royals and closer Greg Holland have agreed to a one-year deal for 2015 to avoid the arbitration hearing. Holland will receive $8.25 million this season, which is $425,000 above the midpoint between the two sides. MLB Trade Rumors had projected Holland to make $9.3 million, so it’s still a bit of money saved.

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Holland has cemented his place as arguably the best closer in the league, and since this was his second time through arbitration-eligibility, it was a given that he would see a nice bump in salary from the $4.675 million he made last season. He’s collected 113 saves in his career, with 93 of those coming in the last two seasons. Holland also has posted a 1.32 ERA in 129.1 innings over that time. The arbitration process pays for saves and ERA, so voila, the Royals have a reliever making big money.

Not bad for a 10th round pick.

At the start of the offseason, there was some speculation that the Royals would shop one of their high-priced relievers – Holland or Wade Davis – in order to bolster other parts of their roster. Obviously that didn’t happen, so the team will have a very expensive bullpen this season. But that money isn’t going to waste, as the bullpen should be one of the biggest strengths on the club, as well as one of the best in the game. David Glass has authorized a franchise-record payroll for 2015, and as far as the bullpen goes, he should definitely get his money’s worth.

Jon Heyman reported that there are incentives that could pay Holland even more, including a $100,000 bonus if he is traded. I doubt that happens during the season, since the Royals should be competing for a playoff berth, but it might be something to consider depending on what they need around the trade deadline. That’s another discussion for another day, several months from now.

The Royals now have one player to sign in order to avoid arbitration, and, as everyone expected, it’s Eric Hosmer. Scott Boras submitted a $6.7 million figure, while the Royals countered at $4.6 million, so that gap is substantial. All arbitration hearings must be complete by the 21st, meaning Dayton Moore has 8 days to settle the case and avoid the first hearing of his tenure.

Next: Herrera Signs Two-Year Deal