JAN 26: If Holland makes the Major League team, he will make $925K with the potential for another $150K in incentives, per Petzold (via Twitter). He will also have opportunities to opt out of the contract should he not make the Major League team, though the exact conditions of those opt-outs are unclear.
JAN 23: Derek Holland is a Detroit Tiger, he announced via his Twitter bio. The veteran lefty will join the Tigers on a minor league deal, per Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). The Tigers will invite Holland to Major League camp with the intention of utilizing him out of the bullpen, notes Jon Morosi of the MLB Network (via Twitter). The deal has not been announced by the club.
The well-traveled southpaw spent 2020 with the Pirates after previous stops on the Cubs, Giants, White Sox and Rangers. He’s best known for his eight-year stay with the Rangers from 2009 to 2016. He spent much of that time in the Rangers’ rotation, including one start in the 2011 World Series. Holland went 8 1/3 innings giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out seven to beat the Cardinals 4-0. Though that series didn’t end as planned for the Rangers, Holland’s performance in that game four win certainly marked a highlight for the then-25-year-old. Holland was a bit of a breakout star on that 2011 pennant-winning team, throwing 198 innings with a 3.95 ERA/3.94 FIP and 3.1 fWAR.
His best overall season would come two years later. During that 4.5 fWAR 2013 campaign, Holland logged 213 innings with a 3.42 ERA/3.44 FIP, 40.8 percent groundball rate, 21.1 percent strikeout rate, and 7.2 percent walk rate. Unfortunately, Holland’s career took a turn the following season when left knee surgery cut his season to just 37 innings. Shoulder problems limited his 2016 season to 10 starts and 58 2/3 innings as his run prevention numbers rose to a 4.91 ERA/5.30 FIP.
Holland has since settled in as a swingman, primarily working out of the bullpen the past two seasons. He made five starts and seven bullpen appearances for the Pirates in 2020, finishing with a 6.86 ERA/6.14 FIP. Though those numbers don’t offer much promise, and batted ball metrics show he’s been hit hard the past two years, he did log a solid 25.1 percent strikeout rate and 8.4 percent walk rate.