4:30pm: Arizona has announced Holland’s DFA and reinstated Blake Swihart from the 60-day injured list, thus filling his spot on the 25-man and 40-man rosters.
10:07am: The Diamondbacks will designate veteran reliever Greg Holland for assignment, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic (via Twitter). Holland cannot be traded out of DFA limbo but can be claimed by a rival organization.
It’s somewhat difficult, but not impossible, to imagine another club stepping into the shoes of the Holland contract. He’s due the remainder of a $3.25MM guarantee and is also in line to pick up some added bonuses. Having already finished 27 games over forty appearances, Holland is already owed an additional $650K by the Snakes. He can still earn another $100K upon throwing in his 45th and 50th games along with $200K apiece if he reaches 55 and 60. There are also additional potential earnings for further games finished — not that a contender would be likely to utilize Holland in the ninth inning.
If he clears waivers, the 33-year-old Holland will either be released or have the right to elect free agency by virtue of his service time. Regardless, the D-Backs would remain on the hook for all that’s still owed to Holland — except for a pro-rated portion of the league-minimum salary for any time the veteran spends pitching for another team.
Holland seemed to be humming along nicely through June, at which point he had secured a dozen saves and thrown 27 innings of 2.33 ERA ball. As we explained when the struggles began, there were plenty of warning signs of good old-fashioned regression but no particular indications that Holland would completely fall apart.
The situation has simply not improved since. Over his 8 2/3 frames of work since the calendar flipped to July, Holland has dished out eleven free passes to go with nine strikeouts. Opposing batters have plated eleven earned runs. And though he posted a run of five consecutive saves in the midst of that stretch, Holland was removed from the ninth after a pair of brutal late-July appearances against the Marlins.
Even as the results have suffered, Holland has seen his velocity embark upon a steady downturn — with a corresponding decline in the swings and misses against his four-seamer. That fact will surely weigh heavily in the minds of organization’s considering a move for the once-great closer, who has had some stretches of good work in recent years while struggling to maintain consistency.