Though he wouldn’t comment on the possibility of an offseason reunion, Royals GM Dayton Moore spoke highly of former Kansas City closer Greg Holland last week, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “Greg Holland is one of the very best and most talented relief pitchers that I’ve been around,” said Moore of the free-agent righty. “The success of our bullpen is a direct correlation to his toughness and his competitive spirit. So we admire him as a person and a pitcher.” Holland didn’t sign anywhere this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last October, and Dodd outlines the potential obstacles that stand in the way of a reunion, again mentioning the Royals’ potential payroll crunch as well as uncertainty surrounding Holland’s health. A low-cost one-year deal with Luke Hochevar could also be pursued, Dodd writes, though Hochevar is coming off surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. Dodd also lists young righty Josh Staumont as a potential bullpen darkhorse for the Royals at some point in 2017.
More from the AL Central…
- If the Tigers elect not to pick up Francisco Rodriguez’s $6MM option next season, Bruce Rondon could be first in line for the closer’s role, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. GM Al Avila praised Rondon last week, and as Fenech notes, his 2.97 ERA in some ways masks how dominant he was to finish out the year. The 25-year-old Rondon’s ERA topped out at 5.68 last year (on July 19), but he tossed 23 2/3 innings of 1.52 ERA ball with a 31-to-8 K/BB ratio over his final 25 games of the season. It still strikes me as surprising that there’s even a question when it comes to Rodriguez’s option, though. While K-Rod no longer even averages 90 mph on his heater and struggled in September, he still finished the year with a 3.24 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a career-best 54.7 percent ground-ball rate to go along with 44 saves. Additionally, that $6MM option comes with a hefty $2MM buyout, so the Tigers are really only making a $4MM decision on Rodriguez. That seems like a no-brainer given the fact that comparable relief arms figure to sign for considerably more in free agency this winter. If nothing else, he’d have some trade value if the Tigers picked up the option and moved him to another club. (They’d also potentially save the $2MM they’d pay him via a buyout that way.)
- Former big league infielder Chris Getz spoke to reporters, including the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane, about his new role as director of player development for the White Sox over the weekend. Kane writes that Getz knew he wanted to move onto the front office track upon wrapping up his playing career even in the final years that he was active. The former ChiSox draftee considers the city and organization his home and is excited to return: “The relationships I was able to build, it was something that will always be in my heart, something that always will be in my DNA,” he explained before continuing to discuss his new position. “…It is carrying out the vision of the scouts. It’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for (each) player to reach their ceiling.”