Former Royals closer and current free agent Greg Holland held a showcase for interested teams that was attended by roughly 18 clubs on Monday. Since that time, he’s been an oft-discussed name and has been connected to numerous clubs around the league. There’s yet to be an indication as to when or where the two-time All-Star will sign, but here’s the latest on his market…
- Agent Scott Boras told reporters today that Holland won’t be holding another showcase (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan). While Holland’s velocity wasn’t anywhere near its previous levels, Boras noted that the workout demonstrated that his client is healthy, which is what teams were more interested in. Certainly, given the fact that Holland is just over a year removed from Tommy John surgery, it’s not a surprise that his fastball was topping out in the low 90s as opposed to his previous 96 mph average. It’s reasonable to expect his velocity to continue ramping up as he regains strength and further distances himself from his operation.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes that Boras said Holland will be open to pitching in non-closing roles next season, so his market needn’t be limited to teams that have a potential vacancy in the ninth inning. Boras tabbed Holland as a potential “HeLP” pitcher — a “High-Leverage Premium” arm that could be used in a similar capacity to the way in which Kenley Jansen, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were used during the postseason. The Royals are believed to have interest in a Holland reunion, Dodd adds, although Boras told reporters that more than half of the teams in the league have reached out to him this week.
- The Red Sox are showing “strong” interest in Holland, tweets WEEI’s Rob Bradford, who adds that the right-hander will take about six weeks off following his showcase before he resumes his offseason throwing program. Boston already has a big-name closer in Craig Kimbrel, but they’re losing three setup arms in Brad Ziegler, Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa, so their interest in relief help is plenty logical.
- The Nationals watched Holland on Monday, writes Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. General manager Mike Rizzo spoke a bit about Holland’s market, implying that an incentivized deal would be his preference in negotiations with Boras. “Those are usually deals that are heavily incentivized because if he pitches like Holland, he should be compensated for it,” said Rizzo. “But you also have to balance it off with the risk that the guy’s coming off Tommy John, didn’t pitch at all last year, and we’ve never seen him throw a pitch in anger since he’s come back. So you’re really going on track record, medical reports and what the doctor said. It’s a risky proposition.” Boras sounded open to a two-year deal that includes incentives when addressing the media following Monday’s showcase. Holland rated 23rd on MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agent list, with our staff pegging him at two years and $18MM despite the lengthy layoff.