The Rangers are discussing a reunion with free agent lefty Derek Holland, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The hurler is said to be “intrigued” at the possibility of returning to his original professional organization.
Holland’s time with the Rangers came to a disappointing end after the 2016 season. He had battled through injuries but not proven capable of recapturing his former promise, leading the club to decline an option and bring an end to the extension he had signed just before the 2012 campaign.
That looked like a wise call after Holland’s forgettable 2017 showing with the White Sox, which left him sifting through minor-league offers in the ensuing winter. Holland wisely settled on a match with the Giants, who had ample and early opportunity on offer.
As it turned out, Holland would turn in more productive innings tan he had since way back in 2013, which stands as his most successful season in the bigs. The lefty worked to a 3.57 ERA in 171 1/3 innings in San Francisco, with a career-high 8.9 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9.
Now 32, Holland is certain to draw MLB offers from multiple teams. He showed an ability to function as both a starter and reliever while sitting at a 10.1% swinging-strike rate that’s near his career peak. As Grant points out, the veteran hurler was outstanding against same-handed hitters, who managed only a .164/.252/.189 batting line against him, so there’d certainly be some intriguing possibilities even if Holland is not utilized as a rotation piece.
MLBTR predicted that Holland would secure a two-year, $15MM deal, though it’s worth noting that some other similarly situated starters have failed to secure second seasons of guaranteed money. Of course, the Rangers themselves somewhat surprisingly promised a third year to Lance Lynn, who was recently added to the staff. The nature and degree of the club’s interest in Holland may well depend upon the outcome of its recent talks surrounding fellow southpaw Mike Minor.