There are at least three teams still pursuing veteran reliever Greg Holland, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). He lists the Nationals and Rockies as the two known entities, with a third mystery entrant also involved. With Spring Training just about three weeks off, Holland’s market seems to be “heating up,” Heyman says, though it’s still not clear what kind of timeline to expect.
At the moment, of course, Holland is occupied with more important matters, as he is among the players attending the funeral of stricken former teammate Yordano Ventura. Certainly, our thoughts are with Ventura’s family and friends as they lay him to rest today. Those interested in finding coverage from the perspective of the Royals’ contingent may wish to follow the reporting of Kansas City Star columnist Vahe Gregorian.
Here are some more notes relating to the relief market:
- Having addressed their need at second base, the Dodgers will now focus on adding another arm to their bullpen mix, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Joe Blanton could still return, per the report, while southpaw Jerry Blevins is also a target. But the club is looking to make only a one-year investment, Rosenthal notes, and could pivot to another arm if the value is there. Whether or not the team could still chase Holland isn’t clear at this moment.
- Righty Fernando Salas, meanwhile, remains one of the better available relievers. He’s still drawing interest from six unnamed teams, sources tell Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (Twitter link). While Salas has struggled a bit with limiting the long ball and hasn’t posted terribly exciting earned run averages over the past two years, he has run up some compelling K/BB numbers at times. Plus, Salas finished the 2016 season with a flourish, permitting just four earned runs on 11 hits over 17 1/3 frames while racking up 19 strikeouts without issuing a single walk.
- Another right-handed reliever, Seth Maness, is set for a showcase on February 6th, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). The 28-year-old is looking to prove to organizations that he’s ready for camp after undergoing a new “primary repair” procedure — which Goold detailed here — in lieu of Tommy John surgery. Having already demonstrated a big groundball rate (59.4% for his career) and outstanding control (1.7 BB/9), there’ll be no shortage of interest if Maness looks anything like his usual self.
- About half of the teams in the league came to watch lefty Craig Breslow throw recently, per Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com (via Twitter). The veteran is attempting to follow the Rich Hill model for a late-career renaissance, with buttressed strength work and a new arm angle. Breslow’s new motion can be seen in this video, provided by Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (courtesy of Twins scout Bill Mele, who was on hand). The 36-year-old has pitched in 11 major league seasons for seven different clubs, most recently appearing in 15 games for the Marlins in 2016.