To improve their dismal bullpen, the Phillies have already added a couple solid relievers this offseason. There is another free agent, however, that if acquired would not only improve the bullpen, but solidify it- Greg Holland. The, former Royals closer, is still available almost two months after free agency began and shouldn’t carry a hefty price tag. Holland is a 2x all-star, but hasn’t pitched since September of 2015 due to Tommy John Surgery. Although that is a very severe injury, Holland is well worth the risk.
Holland converted 125 saves in 135 opportunities (92.6 sv%) from 2013-15, and averaged a 2.16 ERA over that span. Those are some incredible numbers, to say the least. The Phillies are also in need of a consistent closer after Jeanmar Gomez imploded during the second half of the season before being demoted. Holland just so happens to have more career saves under his belt than the entire Philly bullpen combined. Problem, meet solution. This is simply a match made in Heaven, and one that GM Matt Klentak should absolutely pursue. Holland is likely seeking a 1 year “prove-it” deal to show the league he’s still an elite reliever, so he can cash in free agency next year. The Phils have loads of cap room and shouldn’t hesitate to offer the relatively small amount he’ll command on a one year pact.
A Greg Holland signing would also continue the trend of Klentak acquiring potential trading chips (e.g Benoit, Kendrick, Buchholz) on short term deals. If Holland can regain his status as an impact closer, which is not as big an if as one may think, he would most definitely be a hot commodity come July, especially for a playoff contending team.
If the Phils are contending themselves (not likely) or show enough signs of improvement to potentially contend in 2018 (more likely) then they can opt to hold on to Holland themselves, and work towards a long-term contract.
Whether he becomes a valuable trade chip that will acquire the team young talent or the dominant franchise closer for the organization, the Phils have the payroll to roll the dice on Holland without being handicapped. This move is honestly a no-brainer for a team looking for consistency in the 9th inning, and one Klentak should capitalize on before it’s too late.
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports