The White Sox need to retool after releasing Daniel Webb and declining their option on Matt Albers. Greg Holland may be an interesting option. He missed the 2016 season after having Tommy John surgery but will have a showcase for MLB teams.
The Chicago White Sox need some help in their bullpen. This offseason, their three moves so far have involved pitchers. After releasing Daniel Webb and declining their option on Matt Albers, they should look to sure up their bullpen. One interesting free agent would be Greg Holland.
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Holland last pitched in 2015 and missed 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, the right hander was a dominant closer for the Kansas City Royals. He posted a 3.83 ERA in 2015 which isn’t terrible despite him having a torn UCL. However, from 2011-2014, he was lights out, posting a 1.81 ERA in that timespan.
If Holland could return to form, he would be a huge lift for a mediocre Sox bullpen. Despite a 3.83 ERA in 2015, he had 32 saves. In his previous two seasons, he had 46 and 47 saves respectively. What’s also eye popping is he was virtually unhittable. In 2014 his ERA was a stellar 1.41 and in 2013 it was even better at 1.21 And for his career, his ERA is 2.42 with 142 saves.
Now, Holland turns 31 on Nov. 20. So he is still in that area where he could be at his best. After all, we see relievers routinely pitch into their late 30s and early 40s. He gives the organization some insurance in case David Robertson or Zack Burdi struggles in the closer role. If nothing else, he gives them another solid right hander out of the pen.
Obviously they need to make sure his arm checks out medically before discussing a contract with him, which they will. One thing they have going for them is the Sox are said to have one of the best medical staffs in baseball. Add in one of the best pitching coaches [Don Cooper] in the game, and there’s no reason why Holland can’t revive his career. This team is also very familiar with him from his days with the Royals, so they know what type of upside this move could have.
The biggest drawback will be dealing with Scott Boras. Boras hasn’t had the best relationship with this organization in the past, but he represents some of the best players in the game. There’s no doubt he will have this setup to be a huge bidding war, but if your the Sox, you have to be willing to spend money to contend. It’s possible the bidding doesn’t get to out of hand because of Holland’s injury. Anytime you’re bringing back a guy from this type of surgery, teams will be cautious.
There is no reason why this organization shouldn’t be aggressive and try bringing in a guy who was really successful prior to injury. He may not be back to form,but Holland would still represent an upgrade for the bullpen. This would represent one major set in helping the Sox contend in 2017. It wouldn’t bolt this team to a contender, but it would definitely be a great start to their offseason.