8:24pm: Holland can earn $1.25MM upon making the Royals’ roster with another $1.125MM available via incentive pay, tweets Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.
7:53pm: The Royals have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Greg Holland, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. He’ll be in Major League camp this spring and look to secure a spot in the team’s bullpen. The agreement marks a reunion between the two sides, as Holland was a 2007 draftee of the Royals and starred in their bullpen from 2011-15 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Holland’s return from Tommy John surgery in 2017 proved to be a success, as he anchored the bullpen for a Rockies club that secured an NL Wild Card playoff berth and paced the senior circuit in both games finished (58) and saves (41). Holland logged a 3.61 ERA and averaged 11 punchouts per nine innings that year, but he showed some worrying red flags late in the summer and struggled to find the type of lucrative deal he’d hoped in free agency.
The right-hander eventually signed an Opening Day deal with the Cardinals (where current Royals skipper Mike Matheny was managing at the time), locking in a $14MM salary for the 2018 campaign. Holland sprinted through a minor league tuneup and was in the big leagues just nine days after signing, and the veteran closer never seemed to find his footing. He posted a disastrous 7.92 ERA in 25 innings as a Cardinal before being released in a summer bullpen shakeup … only to latch on with the Nationals and rattle off 21 1/3 innings of 0.82 ERA ball. A once-again resurgent Holland landed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks last winter and posted a 4.54 ERA with 10.3 K/9 against an unpalatable 6.1 BB/9 before being released in August.
Kansas City is clearly hoping that the reunion will yield dividends, although five full seasons have elapsed since the now-34-year-old Holland turned in a full, dominant season of relief work. That said, the Royals’ bullpen is hardly a collection of juggernaut relievers, either. Starter-turned-closer Ian Kennedy is again in line for ninth-inning duties, but the entire setup is unproven. Hard-throwing Scott Barlow showed flashes of brilliance in 2019 but lacked consistency. Right-hander Kevin McCarthy was a durable middle man but struggled to miss bats. Southpaw Tim Hill has had mixed results in his two big league seasons but is coming off a quality ’19 campaign.
Other options in the K.C. ’pen include injury reclamation Jesse Hahn, waiver claim Randy Rosario, injury-prone former first rounder Kyle Zimmer and Rule 5 pick Stephen Woods. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of room for Holland (and others) to force his way into the mix if he can impress Royals decision-makers this spring. It’s quite arguable, in fact, that the Royals should’ve done more to address such an uncertain unit this winter, although much of the relief market has already been picked clean.
Glad to see a familiar face coming to the Royals.
Kinda surprised he didn’t get a ML deal
Yah me too.
I second that
Thought he’s under investigation for abusing his girlfriend
Dyson I mean
He’s referring to Jarrod not Sam
Low cost, decent reward potential. If he can pitch even halfway close to what he did before, he’ll be an improvement… As for it being a MINOR league deal, not really a surprise. He’s most likely going to make the team anway…so it just gives them some time during spring training before they have to make a roster move for him.
The trade return would be the real potential. Half year reliever rentals have been getting good offers from playoff bound teams, if Holland puts it back together he’d be great trade bait, especially for cost conscious teams that can’t take on a lot of salary.
No such thing as a bad minor league deal and I love Holly coming home.
It’s nice to see Holland joining forces with the Royal family.
So it’s all about being the second team. Let him implode and get cut, grab him, profit.
They need to sign Tijuan Walker
Love reunion stories. Hope Holland has something left in the tank back in KC
Throw Like a Girl
Welcome home, Dutch
welcome home dirty south
Bring back Country Breakfast.
After he left it leaked out that not only was he a clubhouse cancer but a “my stats I’m a jerk dick kind of guy “ too!
LOL could of had big money from the Rockies, will probably rebound a bit in KC tho just never going to get what he could of.
Like this move a lot. They also signed Trevor Rosenthal a couple of months ago. If those two can both rebound to previous form, that pen will be formidable. That’s a big “if” however, but it doesnt hurt to have as much pitching depth as possible.
That ballpark suppresses long balls ( respect to Soler ) Holland will be league average, Rosenthal will still walk the bases loaded and give up a slam before Matheny will have anyone getting warm. I love the Royals, my second favorite team behind the Cardinals.Why did they hire Matheny?