The Kansas City Royals are not opposed to bringing in pitchers with an injury on a two year contract. With Greg Holland still in free agency, could the Royals look to a possible reunion with their former closer?
Over the past few seasons, as the Kansas City Royals have looked to maximize their budget, they have been creative in free agency. One way that the Royals have been able to stretch their budget has been to sign injured pitchers to multi-year contracts, allowing them to oversee their rehab process and to get them ready for that second year, where they would be a theoretical bargain.
In just the past two years, the Royals have signed Luke Hochevar, Kris Medlen and now Mike Minor while they were in the midst of their rehab assignments. Hochevar and Medlen both played important parts for the Royals last season, and Minor could do the same this year. It is a strategy that appears to be working.
More from KC Royals Rumors
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 2 update
- KC Royals Rumors: Club should pass on this Yankee
- MLB Trade Deadline Rumors: KC Royals at a glance
- KC Royals Rumors: Is club pulling the trade trigger?
- Wainwright deal would create issues for KC Royals
With the Royals former closer, Greg Holland, still sitting in free agency, this may be a strategy they would want to employ once again. Holland, before he pitched through a “significant tear” in his ulnar collateral ligament suffered in August 2014, had been one of the better closers in baseball, notching 109 saves with a 1.88 ERA and a 1.054 WHiP, striking out 284 batters in 196.1 innings from 2012 through 2014. Holland had been a key part of the Royals success, helping to create that formidable bullpen that they have become known for.
Holland can still be a part of that in the coming years. Although Wade Davis has a stranglehold on the closer spot, Holland could still prove to be a useful piece in the bullpen, teaming up with Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria in 2017 to give the Royals even more relief depth. Likewise, in signing Holland to such a contract, they can take care of his rehab process, making sure that he does not push himself too quickly in an effort to return.
Given the plethora of teams in baseball with bullpen issues, as well as the Royals success in having such a dominant bullpen over the past three seasons, it is somewhat surprising that Holland is still available. Yes, the fact that he likely will not pitch in 2016 would limit the contracts that he would get, but a team looking for a proven closer could do much worse than to sign Holland to a two year contract with a team option for a third year.
If the Kansas City Royals are still looking for help in the bullpen with an eye towards the long term, Greg Holland is still a free agent. He could prove to be a tremendous bargain if the Royals are interested in a reunion.