The Royals will finally get to see their former closer Greg Holland showcase his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2015 in a workout for major-league scouts next week.
The workout will take place in either south Florida, or near Holland’s home in North Carolina, according to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly. The Kansas City Royals are certain to attend. Kansas City is both interested in re-signing their former closer and improving their bullpen for 2017. Holland has reportedly thrown off a mound three or four times during his rehabilitation. He has hit the low 90’s with his fastball on the radar gun.
Whether or not the KC Royals can bring Greg Holland back into the fold appears to be a key decision that could affect a number of other off-season moves. Numerous teams have inquired about current closer Wade Davis‘ availability this winter. I can’t imagine Kansas City making such a move without first securing an agreement with Holland.
General manager Dayton Moore has also indicated that addressing the bullpen is his top priority this winter. Also, aside from Holland, Moore has also indicated interest in re-signing Peter Moylan. How much such additions will cost on the free-agent market could determine how Moore pursues the team’s other needs. The Royals need a replacement for designated hitter Kendrys Morales and to find a no. 5 starter.
If Moore has to pay top dollar for relief help, he could be forced to trade an expensive contract to address other needs. If Moore can sign bullpen help on the cheap, he could instead deal a young player like Cheslor Cuthbert or Hunter Dozier since the Kansas City Royals appear to have a surplus of third base prospects.
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However, the KC Royals should have plenty of competition for Holland’s services. The Chicago Cubs came close to blowing a 6-3 lead in Game 7 of the World Series last night. Cleveland’s three-run, eighth-inning rally again highlighted the need for strong relief pitching in the post-season. Chicago won in extra innings when Cleveland’s pen gave up two scores in the top of the tenth.
Pretty much any team with serious playoff aspirations will want to load up on bullpen depth this winter.
Stay tuned, Kansas City Royals fans. I expect Dayton Moore to make some moves this winter rather than stand pat. He’s also a guy that has historically tried to get a jump on the market rather than wait for players to fall to him.