Derek Holland Rumors

Rangers Close To Extension With Derek Holland

The Rangers are "on the verge" of signing left-hander Derek Holland to a contract extension, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.  The deal would be for at least five years (though the 2016 season), overriding Holland's near-league minimum salary for this season and covering his three arbitration years and his first year of free agency. 

We heard in December that the two sides were discussing a five-year extension with an option for a sixth year, though talks were thought to be shelved in January.  MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith considered that extensions given to such pitchers as Jon Lester, Ricky Romero and Yovani Gallardo (five years for around $30MM) were "unavoidable points of reference" for a possible Holland extension.

The Rangers have also signed Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus to extensions this offseason, though those contracts were just for two and three years, respectively, and only covered each player's arbitration seasons.  Obviously Texas has more interest in locking Holland up for the longer-term, given that Cruz is 31 and Andrus could be made expendable in a few years by top shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar.

Holland, 25, was a key part of the Texas rotation last season, posting a 3.95 ERA in 32 starts with a 46.4% ground ball rate and a 2.42 K/BB ratio.  He also threw a gem in Game Four of the World Series, shutting out the Cardinals on just two hits over 8 1/3 innings.  Holland is represented by Martini Sports Management.


Rangers, Holland Put Extension Talks On Hold

The Rangers and left-handed starter Derek Holland have stopped discussing a possible contract extension for the time being, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports. The Rangers and Holland’s representatives at Martini Sports Management started discussing a long-term deal in December, but aren’t likely to resume negotiations this offseason.

Holland, who missed this year's super two cutoff and is not yet arbitration eligible, will remain under team control through 2015. A five-year deal would buy out one pre-arbitration season, his three years of arbitration eligibility and his first season of free agency.

The 25-year-old posted a 3.95 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 198 innings this past season. He set career highs in everything from ERA to innings to strikeouts (162) to wins above replacement (3.6).

Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill are unavoidable points of reference for the Rangers and Holland’s representatives. All five starters signed five-year deals in the $30MM range at similar stages in their respective careers. Holland has more career innings than any of those pitchers did at the time of their extensions, but none of them had a career ERA above 3.94 at the time of their deals, while Holland has a career mark of 4.73. Options are often a point of contention in extension talks, so it's worth noting that the deals for Cahill and Buchholz include two club options, while the other deals include just one.


West Links: Dodgers, Rangers, A’s, Mariners, Pujols

Time for some links from baseball's two West divisions…

  • "I think so," said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti when asked if he was done with his free agent shopping, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). They re-signed Mike MacDougal to a one-year deal today, the tenth free agent they've signed this winter.
  • The Rangers continue to have dialogue about long-term contract extensions with core players like Ian Kinsler and Derek Holland, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. "Our general feeling is to try not to negotiate during the year, but we've made exceptions," said GM Jon Daniels.
  • Daniels also refused to comment about the Rangers' talks with Yu Darvish, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. "It's best for us to lay low," said the GM. "The less noise around that, the better."
  • Athletics GM Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee that he has some interest in a few free agent outfielders, and he's also exploring trade possibilities (Twitter link). Bullpen help is another possibility, says Joe Stiglich of The Bay Area News Group (on Twitter).
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said they are "still keeping our ears open" regarding veteran starters even after signing Hisashi Iwakuma, reports Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com (on Twitter).
  • ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that the union calculated the value of Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels at $246,841,811. Ronald Blum of the AP has a breakdown of the perks in the contract, such as a suite on road trips.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Wil Nieves' minor league contract with the Rockies (on Twitter). The backstop will earn $700K in the majors and $14K per month in the minors. He's also been invited to Spring Training.


Rangers, Derek Holland Discussing Extension

9:24pm: The potential extension includes a club option for a sixth year, according to Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com

12:29am: The Rangers are discussing a five-year extension with left-handed starter Derek Holland, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Holland missed this year's super two cutoff and is not yet arbitration eligible. A five-year deal would buy out one pre-arbitration season, his three years of arbitration eligibility and his first season of free agency.

Yovani Gallardo, Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill are unavoidable points of reference for the Rangers and the Martini Sports Management client. All five starters signed five-year deals in the $30MM range at similar stages in their respective careers. Holland has more career innings than any of those pitchers did at the time of their extensions, but none of them had a career ERA above 3.94 at the time of their deals, while Holland has a career mark of 4.73. Options are often a point of contention in extension talks, so it's worth noting that the deals for Cahill and Buchholz include two club options, while the other deals include just one.

Holland, 25, posted a 3.95 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 198 innings this past season. He set career highs in everything from ERA to innings to strikeouts (162) to wins above replacement (3.6). The Rangers control Holland's rights through 2015.


John Danks Not Available

2:11pm: The White Sox are telling teams Danks is not available, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  It seems that Rosenthal threw his name out there as more of an example, anyway.

11:19am: The Rangers are pursuing White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and the Sox want starter Derek Holland in return.  He adds that the Rangers would only move Holland for Thornton if the White Sox expanded the deal to include a starter such as John Danks.  That'd make for an interesting story, with Sox GM Kenny Williams having stolen Danks from the Rangers in '06 for Brandon McCarthy.

Holland, a 24-year-old southpaw, is under team control through 2015.  Danks, meanwhile, is a free agent after the 2012 season.  Thornton will be signed through '14 if his club option is exercised.


Greinke Would Have Cost Texas Five Players

The Rangers would have had to send five of their top young players to Kansas City to obtain Zack Greinke, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The Royals were asking for Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Jurickson Profar and Engel Beltre.

Holland posted a 4.08 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 last year in his age-23 season, Hunter posted a 3.73 ERA in 128 innings in 2010 and is under team control for five more years and Profar, Beltre and Kirkman ranked 2nd, 5th and 6th, respectively, on Baseball America's preseason list of top Rangers prospects.

The Royals ultimately obtained Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi from the Brewers for Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt and $2MM. Now that Greinke has a cracked rib, the Rangers are probably glad they held onto their players.


Quick Hits: Liz, Rangers, Cubs, Nationals, Gonzalez

Links for Saturday evening…


Cliff Lee Rumors: Wednesday

The Cliff Lee trade talk started intensifying yesterday, as the Twins, Mets, Yankees, Rangers, Phillies and Tigers now have a new suitor to out-bid: the Rays. Not only are the Rays on the periphery of the Lee sweepstakes, they are ready to add payroll and appear willing to part with B.J. Upton. The Yankees are confident that they can jump in and pry Lee away from their divisional foes, but let's not rule out the Yanks' crosstown rivals. Here is the latest on Cliff Lee, with more rumors to come throughout the day:

  • MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says that the Rangers are working hard to acquire Lee, but nothing is imminent. Texas has plenty of minor league talent to offer, but they don't appear to be willing to move Tanner Scheppers or Martin Perez according to Sullivan. Derek Holland, Blake Beavan, Chris Davis, Justin Smoak, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia could all be fair game.  Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Mariners "inquired about the availability" of Davis and Saltalamacchia.  Righty Alexi Ogando is said to be on the Mariners radar, though "there is some resistance to include him in a deal" on the Rangers' side. 
  • Morosi expands on his earlier tweet, saying that the Reds and Mariners have exchanged names "in preliminary fashion," though the two sides have yet to exchange firm proposals. One GM called Cincinnati a "sleeper" in the Lee sweepstakes.
  • CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam checked on the status of Boston's interest in Lee earlier today, and heard that the asking price was too high (Twitter links). Seattle wants a "stud catcher" close to the bigs, which the Red Sox simply don't have.
  • Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gets the impression that the Mariners aren't close to moving Lee, at least not to the Twins. He was also told that the two sides haven't exchanged official proposals, and that the Ramos-Hicks talk is "pure speculation."
  • The Mariners are seeking a “mammoth return” for Lee, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. One executive interested in the left-hander said the Mariners made a “crazy ask,” demanding an even better package than Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks.
  • FOX reports that the Twins offered Ramos and Kevin Slowey for Lee. At the moment, the Twins, Mets, Yankees and Rangers are most actively engaged with the Mariners in trade talks.
  • The Mariners are calling teams back and telling them that it will take two blue-chip prospects plus a third young player to acquire Lee, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
  • Two scouts tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that third base prospect Juan Francisco would be the Reds' best trade chip, not Yonder Alonso (Twitter link).
  • ESPN.com’s Buster Olney hears that the Yankees are not engaged in trade talks for Lee now. They are confident they could acquire the left-hander, but do not intend to deal for him. Olney says the Twins are the favorites to acquire Lee, followed by the Reds, the Rays, the Mets, the Rangers and the field.
  • The Mets officials who have spoken to Joel Sherman of the New York Post don’t seem concerned that the Twins are the perceived frontrunners for Lee. The perception within the game is that the Mariners are leaning more toward scouting than number crunching, and the Mets believe that will work in their favor.

Rangers May Look Internally To Improve Rotation

Texas will look to improve their starting five from within, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Even though the club has the minor league talent to make a deal at the deadline, their financial situation could very well prove to be an impediment. 

The Rangers are looking forward to Rich Harden and Derek Holland rejoining the rotation.  Harden is on the disabled list with a strained back muscle and is scheduled to throw live batting practice tomorrow.  Holland, who is dealing with inflammation in his left shoulder and a sprained right knee, could be close to throwing live batting practice as well.  Both hurlers could be back in action before the Trade Deadline.

General Manager Jon Daniels says that even though he has his "finger on the pulse" of the trade market, he wants to see how the two look before looking to deal for an arm:

"We're very focused on improving the rotation internally right now," Daniels said earlier today. "From a health standpoint we've got a couple of guys that we'd like to get back after the All-Star break. A lot depends on how both proceed this week."

Cliff Lee continues to be atop the Rangers' wish list and Roy Oswalt's name has come up frequently.  However, Texas may be content to just stick with cards that they have.


Derek Holland On Track For Super Two Status

When Derek Holland makes his 2010 debut tonight, his major league service time starts piling up once again. If Holland stays in the majors until the end of this season, he has a good chance at becoming a Super Two player after next year. That means he would go to arbitration four times instead of three and would likely make millions more than he otherwise would. 

Here's how it breaks down: Holland has 170 days of service time now. He can pile up 145 more days of service time this year if the Rangers keep him in the majors all season. That would leave Holland with 1.143 years of service time after this season. With another full year in the majors, he could have 2.143 years of service time after 2011, which be enough for Super Two status.

Holland's Super Two status depends on two things: the time he spends on the roster this year and the time he spends on it next year. If he doesn't see the minors again, he'll go to arbitration four times. So is he ready for the majors? The stats suggest he is. In 38.2 innings at Triple A, the 23-year-old lefty has a 0.93 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.