In an article this afternoon, in which he predicted where the remaining top free agents might land, FanRag.com’s Jon Heyman wrote that veteran reliever Greg Holland, who’s still recovering from surgery on his right elbow, is, as previously reported, “... seeking a two-year deal with a one-year opt-out,” which Heyman added, “... would fit for him as a pitcher returning off a Tommy John surgery and a long rehab.”
Washington’s Nationals, Heyman noted, “... could be a fit for him... as they still seek a closer, and have been known to make late moves (including Max Scherzer two winters ago).”
Heyman added that the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers remained as suitors for Holland, “... (though Milwaukee has since signed Neftali Feliz).”
He also noted that Kansas City remains interested in the one-time Royals’ closer, who posted a 1.32 ERA, 193 Ks and 93 saves over 129 1⁄3 IP in two seasons as Kansas City’s ninth-inning option.
Holland saved 32 games in 2015 before he was forced to undergo surgery and missed the entire 2016 season.
Following up on his reporting, Heyman wrote on Twitter Monday night that Holland is reportedly close to making a decision and may have narrowed the field:
things appear to be heating up for greg holland. final 3 teams may be: rockies, nats and a mystery team— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 24, 2017
Will the Nationals take a risk on the once dominant reliever? Veteran Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell made the case for the Nationals signing the right-hander in a chat with readers earlier this week:
“The Nats should try hard to sign Greg Holland, coming back from TJ surgery, because he’s been a big-time reliever and will (or won’t) be back at full health by the trade deadline. If he is, problem solved. And you probably sign him for ‘17 and ‘18 too. If he isn’t, you took your high-quality shot — every other closer is gone [Kenley Jansen] or you can’t get them in [a] deal [David Robertson] because you don’t have the trade pieces that are needed.
“ALSO, if Holland isn’t the answer, if his arm blows again or he isn’t effective, you ‘only’ lost some money — in an obvious two-year go-for-it window when you can’t let a little wasted money stop you. THEN you use the trade deadline for Plan B — get the ‘17 equivalent of [Mark] Melancon in ‘16.”
Boswell goes on to argue that the move makes sense, especially when you have in-house options. He uses Blake Treinen as an example, writing that the Nationals could use the sinker-balling right-hander as their closer until Holland is back on the mound and then sort things out. If they need to add an arm, then the Nationals can find one at the trade deadline.
Make sense? Will the Nationals get Holland... or miss out on another reliever in spite of their efforts?