Former Royals closer Greg Holland is getting closer to selecting a new team and could make a decision within the next week, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. Holland has been said to be seeking a two-year guarantee with an opt-out after the first season as he looks to re-establish himself following Tommy John surgery late in the 2015 season. Roughly two-thirds of the league has been linked to Holland in some capacity, though it’s unlikely that the majority of teams would be comfortable with that type of contractual arrangement. The 30-year-old figures to draw interest from contenders and non-contenders alike so he’ll have to weigh not only the financial strength of the offers he receives but also the ability to pitch for contending club and the opportunity to compete for a ninth-inning job (which non-contending clubs may be more willing to offer right away than contenders).
Some more notes pertaining to the free-agent and trade markets…
- The Astros haven’t given up on the notion of acquiring one of Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana or Chris Archer and remain in contact with the Athletics, White Sox and Rays, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted recently. The extreme asking prices on each starter makes it seem unlikely that Houston would be able to pry any of that trio loose. They’ve already balked at Chicago’s reported asking price of Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove for Quintana, and MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweets that he received a flat “No” when he asked one source if Gray could land in Houston. Archer, meanwhile, seems like an even longer shot to contend. The Rays have already moved one of their starters, trading Drew Smyly to the Mariners, and the remainder of their offseason dealings have been largely focused in improving the 2017 club.
- While the Brewers and right-hander Neftali Feliz have yet to finalize an agreement, the two sides are still talking and working toward that goal, tweets MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. Reports over the weekend suggested that the two sides could be moving toward a deal, though there’s been little news since. Feliz had a strong 2016 season with the division-rival Pirates (3.52 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings) but finished the season on the shelf with a somewhat vague arm injury.
- Both the Blue Jays and Orioles were “in” on Michael Saunders before the outfielder agreed to a one-year, $9MM with the Phillies (which includes an $11MM club option and escalators), tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Per Crasnick, Saunders also drew some level of interest from the Brewers and the Diamondbacks as well, Crasnick adds, which is somewhat interesting given the fact that neither club has a clear on-paper need for an additional regular in the outfield.
- Twins manager Paul Molitor tells La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’s hopeful the front office will add a veteran to the roster to help bring some experience to what is overall a young clubhouse. “I’ve talked to Thad and Derek about my opinions about adding, where we could, more experienced people who have the reputation of being influential in clubhouse culture as well as leadership,” said Molitor, “and a guy who can still play.” Neal speculates that an outfield bat would be the likeliest fit, noting that Minnesota is pretty well stocked in terms of infield options and DH types.