Whereas last offseason was headlined by the crop of starting pitchers available, that honor went to the trio of free-agent closers this winter. Now that Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon have signed, the market is expected to open for the next tier of relievers.
One of the more intriguing options that lies within that group is former Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland. The right-hander missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2015, lending to some questions and concerns.
Prior to the operation, Holland did struggle that season, finishing with 32 saves, a 3.83 ERA, 3.27 FIP and 1.46 WHIP.
However, he was stellar in 2013 and 2014, converting a combined 93 saves with a 1.32 ERA, averaging 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings and twice earning All-Star Game honors during that span.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the clubs who have been connected to Holland, and according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, so too are the Colorado Rockies:
The Rockies have “checked in” with free-agent right-hander Greg Holland — one of the game’s top closers before missing 2016 because of a right elbow injury, general manager Jeff Bridich acknowledged on Wednesday.
While Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich acknowledged the club has interest in Holland, he declined to specifically address the report a multiyear contract offer was extended to Holland:
“Nothing to comment on there,” Bridich told MLB.com. “We have checked in, like most teams, I imagine.”
By all accounts Holland completed an encouraging showcase in November, which was his first time throwing in public since the 2015 surgery. The 31-year-old is said to be willing to work as a closer or set-up man, and understands a contract that is heavily incentivized is likely in the cards.
Colorado relievers sported a combined 5.13 ERA this past season, which was highest in the Majors. They were affected by not having Adam Ottavino for the first half of the season while he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and losing Jake McGee for a stretch due to a knee injury.
Offseason changes for the Rockies include hiring Bud Black as manager, signing left-handed reliever Mike Dunn to a three-year, $19 million contract, and reportedly agreeing to terms with Alexi Amarista.