There’s a man who could help bring stability to the bullpen toiling away in the deserts of Arizona. Greg Holland could be just what the doctor ordered to combine with Nathan Eovaldi in the late innings for the Boston Red Sox.
What makes Holland such an attractive target is his salary. He is on a one year contract for $3.25 Million, with two $1 Million bonuses he is likely to achieve. Because half the season is gone, the Red Sox would only be on the hook for half the base plus bonuses. This fits into their extremely limited “salary cap’ space.
Greg Holland was the linchpin of the vaunted Kansas City 2014 AL Champion bullpen. During that postseason run he had a 0.82 ERA for a team that lost to the San Francisco Giants. But they did go on a run from the Wild Card all the way to the World Series. The next year the Royals won it all, but Holland went down in August of that year with an injury that led to Tommy John surgery. All in all he saved 145 games for the Royals over parts of six seasons.
He took 2016 off recovering from TJS, before emerging in Colorado to lead the league in Saves with 41 in 2017. He toiled in the setup role for the Cardinals and Nationals in 2018, predictably struggling without being the Closer for the first time in years, with a combined 4.66 ERA. This year he landed the Closer role in Arizona and has 14 Saves with a 3.30 ERA.
Currently the Diamondbacks are 46-45 and 13.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. They are 1.5 games out of the NL Wildcard. When spring training started they were hoping Archie Bradley would grab hold of the Closer role. Bradley has disappointed, but others, including Yoan Lopez (34 Innings, 11 Holds, 1.59 ERA, .94 WHIP), have stepped up. Over the next two weeks, if they falter even a little, they will look to sell and Holland will be a prime candidate to move.
Because Holland’s ERA has risen from 2.08 to 3.30 recently he should come cheap. Cheaper than the popular names out there like Will Smith of the Giants or Felipe Vazquez of the Pirates. Likely it would be low level minor leaguers.
The Diamondbacks’ GM is former interim Red Sox GM Mike Hazen. He was Dave Dombrowski’s top aide during the 2016 season before taking the GM job in Arizona. There’s a lot of familiarity between the two teams. This means a deal could happen quickly. Holland has had time to get used to not being the main Closer on a team. Nathan Eovaldi will most likely not be used on back to back days. This would be an under the radar addition that could pay huge dividends.
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