The KC Royals could suffer blow to their off-season strategy if the Chicago Cubs sign former Kansas City closer Greg Holland.
Holland sat out the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October of 2015 to repair his ulnar collateral ligament (elbow). However, before his injury, he was one of baseball’s most dominant closers for the KC Royals from 2012 to 2014.
Holland recorded 145 saves with a 2.42 ERA and12.1 K/9 in six seasons in Kansas City. Holland earned All-Star nods in 2013 and 2014. He also won the Mariano Rivera Award as the A.L.’s best reliever in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Royals haven’t been in communication with Holland or his representatives for quite some time:
If Greg Holland signs with the Cubs, Kansas City could lose a ready replacement for Wade Davis. That loss could make general manager Dayon Moore reluctant to deal Davis.
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The rumor is interesting in that the Chicago Cubs have also inquired about the trade cost for Wade Davis. If they move on to Holland, it means the cost in players was simply too rich for their blood. Instead, they’d prefer to take the risk that Holland doesn’t return to form after Tommy John surgery.
Though Greg Holland has expressed a desire to remain in Kansas City, the Royals would be wise not to rely on him to give them an opportunity to match the Cubs’ deal. If Dayton Moore wishes to deal Wade Davis this winter and replace him with Greg Holland, he might have to cut a deal soon. Rumors indicate that owner David Glass will not allow Moore to add players in free-agency without cutting payroll first.
If Moore wants to substitute Holland for Davis, he might need to get permission from Glass to expand his payroll on the condition that he completes a trade for Davis to clear salary.