The Rangers announced this evening they’ve signed reliever Greg Holland to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training. If he cracks the Opening Day roster, he’ll receive a $2.1MM base salary, reports Levi Weaver of the Athletic (Twitter link).
Holland is a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star. An elite closer and vital piece of the bullpens that made the Royals so tough to beat in the middle of the last decade, he unfortunately blew out his UCL late in 2015 and required Tommy John surgery. Holland returned to post an NL-best 41 saves with the Rockies in 2017, but he wasn’t quite as dominant as he’d been in K.C. before the surgery.
Since then, Holland’s performance has fluctuated wildly as he’s bounced between a few different clubs. He posted an ERA above 4.50 in both 2018 (which he split between the Cardinals and Nationals) and 2019, where he played in Arizona. Holland returned to his old stomping grounds in Kansas City for 2020, where he pitched to a 1.91 ERA over 28 1/3 frames. The Royals re-signed him to a $2.75MM guarantee last winter, but he couldn’t replicate that success over a larger body of work.
Holland posted a 4.85 ERA in 55 2/3 frames last season. His 21.8% strikeout percentage and 10.7% walk rate were each a bit worse than the respective league averages, although he still generated swinging strikes at a decent 12.3% clip. The 36-year-old joins a rather crowded list of righty bullpen options the Rangers have added as non-roster invitees. Dan Winkler, Brandon Workman, Matt Bush, Justin Anderson and Jesús Tinoco are among the other players in camp.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported Holland was signing with the Rangers shortly before the team announcement.