Nationals sign veteran reliever Holland for stretch run
Holland has appeared in 12 postseason games, including the 2014 World Series with Kansas City. That, along with his 186 career saves, was more important to Washington than the 7.92 ERA he had with St. Louis before being designated for assignment on July 27.
A day after the right-hander worked out with Washington, the Nationals announced his signing on Tuesday before facing the Atlanta Braves in a split doubleheader.
“He’s a veteran guy that’s been around and pitched in high-level situations, pitched a World Series,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “If he’s healthy, and we think he is, he’s going to help us.”
A three-time All-Star with 186 career saves, Holland initially will be used in the sixth or seventh innings by the Nationals.
“He knows how to get outs in big situations. That’s what we like about him,” Martinez said. “He will fit well in our bullpen and in our clubhouse.”
Holland is 21-20 with 186 saves and a 2.93 ERA across parts of eight seasons with the Royals, Colorado Rockies and Cardinals. He had 47 saves last year with Colorado and signed a $14 million deal with St. Louis during the offseason before coming out flat in 2018.
He hopes the switch to a new team with bring about a change in fortune.
“It hadn’t went well. Sometimes that happens,” Holland said. “People struggle sometimes. I’m excited. Kind of a fresh start on a new team, and helping this club getting where it wants to go.”
Washington started the day in third place in the NL East, 5½ games behind division-leading Philadelphia.
To make room for Holland, the Nationals optioned right-hander Jimmy Cordero to Triple-A Syracuse.