Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals found themselves in a difficult spot when it came to Greg Holland. He had pitched with an elbow issue through most of the season before it was revealed that he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery, explaining his relative ineffectiveness this season. Yet, for a difficult year, Holland still notched 32 saves and his 3.83 ERA was better than the American League average.
However, with the emergence of Wade Davis in the closer role and the fact that Holland is likely to miss most, if not all of the 2016 season, the decision to non-tender him was an easy choice to make. After earning $8.25 Million last season, if Holland had gone to arbitration again this year, the Royals would likely have had to pay that same amount, if not more, for him to stay on the disabled list.
It is potentially an unfortunate end to Holland’s time with the Royals. Over the previous three seasons, Holland was one of the best closers in the game, recording 109 saves while striking out 284 batters in 196.1 innings. Holland was virtually untouchable upon entering, recording a 1.88 ERA and a 1.054 WHiP.
However, this decision to non-tender Holland may not necessarily mark the end of his tenure in Kansas City. Just as the Royals brought back Luke Hochevar after he was non-tendered following Tommy John surgery, they may look at bringing Holland back on a two or three year, incentive laden contract, allowing him to rehab under their watch.
Greg Holland will certainly be an intriguing free agent, but his injuries will limit his earning potential. Should the Kansas City Royals look to bring him back, this could work in their favor as they may get a bargain.
Odds of the Kansas City Royals signing Greg Holland: 40%
Next: He stepped up when the Royals needed