The Tigers haven’t signed the former Kansas City reliever, but it seems that they’re at least kicking the tires on the pitcher.
Holland, who didn’t pitch in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, is throwing on Monday in Arizona for potentially interested teams.
According to the latest Detroit Tigers rumors, the team will watch the showcase. MLB.com’s Jason Beck reported on the news, tweeting, “Tigers will have somebody at former KC closer Greg Holland’s showcase today in Arizona. He missed this season with Tommy John surgery.”
The reliever could be an intriguing bounce-back candidate for the Tigers or any team that signs him. Holland was Kansas City’s closer from 2013 through 2015. He’s served as one of the league’s best relief pitchers since his first full season in 2011.
Over that span, Holland logged a 2.15 ERA and a 2.12 FIP in 301 innings. He also struck out 12.2 batters per nine frames over the same span.
The two-time All-Star logged SIERAs under 3.00 from 2011 through 2014. During the 2013 and 2014 campaigns, his SIERA stats finished at 1.43 and 1.77 respectively.
Bullpen depth is never a bad thing, so it makes sense that the Tigers are attending Holland’s showcase. If the reliever can regain his previous form, he could be more of an impact pitcher than just a depth piece.
Additionally, any potential signing would give Detroit the flexibility and depth to move Francisco Rodriguez and inserting Holland as closer.
This scenario would net the Tigers potential pieces for the future from the Rodriguez deal, while keeping the bullpen strong.
With Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman potentially hitting the open market, Detroit could receive a significant return for Rodriguez from a closer-needy team who strikes out on the top free agents.
Bridge to the Future
If Holland is signed and Rodriguez is dealt, the 30-year-old former Royal would likely serve as the bridge to the future where Detroit’s bullpen is concerned.