The Royals and closer Greg Holland have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $8.25MM contract reports MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (on Twitter). Holland had filed for a $9MM salary while the Royas countered at $6.65MM (via MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker). Like fellow elite closer Aroldis Chapman, who avoided arb earlier this hour, Holland settled significantly higher than his midpoint — topping that mark by $425K. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Holland’s contract calls for a $100K bonus if he is traded.
Holland projected at $9.3MM using the projection model of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, although in an Arbitration Breakdown piece examining Holland and other elite closers, Swartz noted that the model may be a bit overzealous with Holland’s figure due to the lack of accurate historical comps.
The 29-year-old Holland, a client of Turner Gary Sports, turned in his second straight season of a sub-1.50 ERA, pitching to an outstanding 1.44 mark to go along with 13.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 48.1 percent ground-ball rate in 62 1/3 innings of work. Holland saved 46 games along the way and also fired 11 innings of one-run ball in the postseason, striking out 15 against five walks. This was his second trip through the arbitration process, and he’ll be eligible once more before hitting free agency following the 2016 campaign.
Holland was one of two remaining arbitration cases for Kansas City, and Eric Hosmer is now the team’s lone remaining unresolved case.